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Michaelsen a hit for Tars

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Senior center, a four-year varsity starter, scored her second game-winning goal of the season against Trabuco Hills last week.

March 24, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Sierra Michaelsen took up kenpo-style karate in October.

She's an orange belt. But her time in the dojo is currently on hiatus as she focuses on a more pressing matter, her senior year for the Newport Harbor High girls' lacrosse team.

"Right before I left I was going to reach the intermediate level," Michaelsen said. "I get to wait until the summer now."

She doesn't mind the break. She wants the Sailors, who play Corona del Mar in the Battle of the Bay Friday night at 5 at Newport Harbor, to extend their season as long as possible.

Michaelsen, a four-year varsity starter and team captain, plays center for Newport Harbor (4-7). She's the one in charge of taking the draws, a big responsibility.

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She's already been front and center for Newport Harbor several times this season. The Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week scored the game-winning goal March 17 in an 11-10 victory over Trabuco Hills with less than a minute left.

"Forty-one seconds," Michaelsen said with a smile, remembering the exact time her shot found the back of the net.

She has reason to smile. The Sailors have 10 seniors this year and they're looking to improve on their second-place finish in league and U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Southern Section Division I quarterfinals loss a year ago.

Michaelsen is one of three seniors for the Sailors who have been on varsity all four years, the others being defender Nikki Perrier and attacker Amanda Olevsky.

As a midfielder Michaelsen does both, attacking and defending. Second-year Coach Sarah Queener wouldn't have it any other way.

"She's very valuable on defense because she can create turnovers," Queener said. "She's very good at communicating, and she's also a very good one-on-one defender. She just continues to improve her skills as a defender. She's really been impressing me lately. She's very strong and smart."

But the game-winning goal against Trabuco Hills wasn't a fluke occurrence. She also scored the game-winner in a 6-5 victory over Corona del Mar at the Rose Bowl tournament March 5. For the season, Michaelsen is third on the Sailors with 11 goals scored, behind only Olevsky and senior Stephanie Storch with 15 each.

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