SAN JOSE - Two of the top teams in the CCS met on Tuesday afternoon in girls lacrosse with nationally ranked Sacred Heart Prep defeating Archbishop Mitty 13-11 behind sophomore Genna Gibbons 8 goals. Indeed with the Monarchs coming from behind to pull within two goals it was Gibbons who scored with five minutes left to put the game away from the Gators.
It was the Monarchs who took the early advantage of the pro Monarch crowd on their home field with an opening face off win from Malina Hatton which eventually found fellow senior Ella Vossoughi for the 1-0 lead for the Monarchs less than thirty seconds into the game. To say that the Gators would respond would be an understatement, they would have a ten minute stretch of domination which netted goals from freshman Ellie Noto, junior Sasha Bellack and two goals from Gibbons. Sensing the game getting away from the Monarchs Hatton took matters into her own hands scoring from basically half on a long solo run to cut the scoreline in half.
Sophomore Olivia Carlino kept the pressure on for the Monarchs scoring off an assist from Gabrielle Valdez. With momentum totally swung it was Gibbons who took the game over, scoring her third of the game a minute after the Monarchs had cut the score to one. The Gators then went on a roll. Sophomore Shea Allard, senior Allison Carter and Bellack with her second of the game within a minute of each other to push the lead back up to 3 goals at 7-3. The goal of the game then game through Bellack off an amazing behind the goal pass from sophomore Kalista Hurel. Gibbons then scored two more goals to pad the lead and her stats, who was virtually unstoppable in the first half. However the Monarchs got the final goal of the half with twelve seconds left from the freshman Noto to end the half trailing the Gators, 4-10.
It was the Monarchs who would take control of the second half with Carlino scoring within thirty seconds of the half. An incredible solo effort from senior, and Monarch basketball star, Ania McNichols kept the pressure on. Another goal from Allison Carter temporarily halted the momentum, giving the Gators another goal. But the Monarchs kept coming. Two unnecessary fouls from the Gators gifted the Monarchs two golden scoring chances, which they took advantage of through McNichols and Hatton.
With the Monarchs pressing it was Gators GK senior Emma Briger with incredible back to back point blank saves to keep the Monarchs at a distance. With thirteen minutes left the Monarchs din find the back of the net again through Carlino, completing her hat trick. Whenever the Monarchs felt like they were going to overtake the scoreline it was Gibbons again with another timely goal to keep the Monarchs just out of touching distance, which was preceded immediately after Mitty's Carlino had hit the crossbar on the opposite end. Mitty senior Gabrielle Valdez scored for the Monarchs with ten minutes left to pull them back within two with more than enough time to take the game. A timeout by the Gator coaching staff resulted in a new strategy on offense that saw the Gators take the wind out of the Monarchs sails. The Gators essentially held the ball with some slick passing for five minutes with Mitty unable to press out. The dominating five minutes of the game was capped off by Gibbons, with her eighth and final goal of the game. Senior Ashley Apostal came off the bench for the Monarchs to score with a minute left to cut the Gator lead down to two, but that was as close as they would get as the Gators took the season sweep.
While the national power that is Sacred Heart Prep remained perfect in league at 6-0 and on track for another WBAL crown, the Monarchs improvement in only their third season of lacrosse play has been incredible. Indeed the first game this season between the two teams in Atherton saw Sacred Heart Prep dominate to a 17-3 win. While Mitty may not be at that elite level that the Gators are on a consistent basis, they are on the right track to being so. Sacred Heart Prep looks to have a very manageable schedule the rest of the way, but there is a bit of dissapointment amongst CCS girls lacrosse onlookers that they won't take on the other top ranked team in the section, St. Ignatius. A CCS girls lacrosse tournament will come sooner than later as the game has grown exponentially, but it unfortunately won't happen this year to see those two powers meet.