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Four-midable

High School Field Hockey

Newport Harbor captures fourth straight TOC title after playing strong defense to beat rival Huntington Beach.

November 03, 2011|By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Daily Pilot

HUNTINGTON BEACH — In the each of the past three seasons prior to Thursday's Los Angeles Field Hockey Assn. Tournament of Champions final at Edison High, the Newport Harbor field hockey team knew nothing but winning championships.

In the Sailors' fourth season, they still do.

Newport Harbor dealt Huntington Beach its first loss of the season, scoring two first-half goals and playing stout defense in a 2-0 win.

Newport Harbor completed the four-peat and has won five championships in team history, beginning with the 2003 team that included Amanda Boyer, who completed her second season as the Sailors' head coach with a 20-4-2 record.

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Huntington Beach finished with a spectacular season in winning the Sunset League and owning a 23-1-1 record. The Sailors have beaten the Oilers in the past four TOC title games.

"This team, when they play together and they play with their hearts, that's when they play their best," said Boyer, who added it took a team effort to win the title. "We told them that when you play Newport ball, that's when you'll end up winning."

With 18:54 left in the first half, Newport Harbor senior forward Allie Pantoskey found center Courtney McIntosh on a short corner. McIntosh dribbled to her right, then she fired a hard shot to her left from 10 meters out and past Oilers goalie Kayla Wigney.

McIntosh, who scored two goals in the tournament, was named to the all-tournament team, along with Jill Messersmith, who had one goal, and the tournament's Most Valuable Player Sophie Evans.

"I was at the top of the circle," McIntosh said. "I touched it between their sticks, faked it and shot it toward their left-hand side. It was nice to win it all four years."

Pantoskey had the magic touch again with 4:43 left in the first half, after she assisted on a goal scored by Taury Hlinka, who put away a bouncing ball right in front of the goal.

"I knew where they were open," Pantoskey said. "I just found them. It's amazing to win it in our senior year. I'm so happy we won it, I knew we would."

Huntington Beach head coach Cathy Van Doornum saw her team unable to cash in on six short corner opportunities and shots from close range by Hannah Rodriguez, Kayla Wigney and others.

"We had a slow first half," Van Doornum said. "We looked tired, we didn't play our game. We tried to have a shorter passing game, they had a longer, harder-hitting passing game."

Boyer saw that her defense was able to hold off late Oiler charges, with Sailor goalie Andie Ward picking up the shutout.

"They were like a wall," said Boyer, a goalie in her playing days at Newport.

The wall helped bring the Sailors their fourth consecutive TOC title.

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