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CdM girls' lacrosse team finds a way

Smith sisters make big plays down the stretch for Sea Kings, and Gabby's sudden-death strike helps Sea Kings move on.

May 01, 2012|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — Gabby Smith took the pass from Torrey Attyah, flinging the ball as hard as she could into the back of the net.

The Attyah-to-Smith connection is nothing new for the Corona del Mar High girls' lacrosse team. This time, the two senior captains desperately needed to make that connection to keep their high school careers alive.

Smith put the shot away 2:10 into sudden-death overtime, lifting the No. 7-seeded Sea Kings to a thrilling 19-18 victory over No. 10 Capistrano Valley in the first round of the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division playoffs.

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"It's our thing," Attyah, who had a game-high five assists and also scored twice, said of her pass from behind the net to a charging Smith. "It was amazing to end on that."

It was just an amazing game overall. The Sea Kings (15-3) somehow survived, moving into the quarterfinals, where they'll play at No. 2 Foothill on Thursday.

They did it despite blowing a two-goal lead in the final 47 seconds of regulation. They did it despite falling behind Capo Valley by two goals in the first overtime period, and being issued two yellow cards in overtime as well.

"I was just freaking out," said Smith, who had four goals, two assists and a team-best three draw controls. "I didn't want this to be my last game. It was a little scary ... Our team has had the reputation that we're all mental. We kept it together, and I don't know how we did that."

CdM looked down and out in overtime. Sophomore Riley Eggeman and junior captain Ally Hadley scored twice within a minute for the Cougars (12-5), giving them a 17-15 lead. Twenty-five seconds later, a CdM defender was issued a yellow card, meaning CdM had to play a player down for two minutes.

CdM junior captain Molly Rovzar, who had five of her team-high seven goals in the second half and overtime, said the Sea Kings began to get frustrated.

"We were struggling with the calls," Rovzar said. "I would never blame the refs, because it doesn't come down to that. [But] our defense plays more aggressive. It works for some [referees] and it doesn't work for others, and it was not working with our refs. Most of their goals were off free-position shots. We had to forget about everything and just play how we know how to play."

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