Great Oak Beats Chaparral 13-7 & Murrieta Mesa Slips Past Temecula Valley 8-7 in the Semifinals
By Alvin Simpson
The second round of the in the Inland Empire Girls Lacrosse Championship were played on Tuesday night. Great Oak was victorious over Chaparral 13-7 and Murrieta Mesa slipped past Temecula Valley 8-7 to set up the final match for the Inland Empire Crown on Friday night.
Great Oak High School, who won the overall Southwestern league Championship of the newly formed Southwest Conference League with an impressive record of 15-4 came into the tournament as the number one seed for the playoffs. The Wolfpack also scored major wins of all local teams during the season.
Murrieta Mesa, led by Coach Molly Sovacool was the second seed. The Rams held their position on Tuesday, fighting off a challenge by Temecula Valley and beating them in a nail biter, 8-7.
Great Oak took the field to battle with the cross town opponent Chaparral Pumas Tuesday night. The Pumas, who had lost the previous 2 matches of the season, were out for revenge.
The game started with the Wolfpack playing as a solid unit to the delight of their fans. The defensive unit was outstanding, led by all league goalie Emma “Brick Wall ” Brennan. The senior defensive crew is held together by anchors Sydney Hall and Sydni Schickel with the ever intuitive support of Brittany Licitra capped off with the hustle of Ashley Fejerang.
The Wolfpack attackers were definitely in beast mode which was being led by senior captain Sydney Simpson being assisted by Sophie Schroll, Sophia Bove’, Mari Dayos, and Preston ” PJ ” Fiacco.
Props go out to “Super Sophomore” PJ Fiacco for helping to hold down the fort against Chaparral after the unfortunate injury to her sister and senior teammate Tatum Fiacco. PJ was the high scorer for the very balanced Wolfpack with 4 goals.
Junior attacker Sophie Schroll did an excellent job offensively, contributing 5 huge assists in the decisive 13-7 victory over the Pumas.
This game has a lot of back stories. In an interesting twist, Coach Sovacool started her Valley Conference Coaching career with the TVHS Golden Bears. And another twist is that the Mesa coach also personally coached the Wolfpack seniors when they were in middle school, which helped them become the players they are today.
Coaches Alicia Brennan, Nicole “CoCo” Standoff, and Lexi Appel have guided the Wolfpack girls throughout this season and are focused in winning the Championship game. So you better get your popcorn ready, this is going to be good. Both teams are going to leave it all out on the field on Friday night.
This game is for all of the “beans” and you don’t want to miss this. So bring you popcorn and lets get crazy…
Photos by Alvin Simpson