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Warriors reach girls lacrosse playoff semifinals

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Although Fallbrook High School’s girls lacrosse team lost in the CIF Division II semifinals, the Warriors had previously not advanced that far in the playoffs.

“It was a great season,” said Fallbrook coach Debbie Berg. “The girls played fantastic all year long, very consistent, great win-loss record.”

The 9-7 loss to Our Lady of Peace finalized Fallbrook’s season record at 17-3. A 5-0 Valley League mark gave the Warriors their first-ever league championship.

“The highlight of our season was definitely winning league,” Berg said.

The Warriors were given the second seed in the Division II playoffs, which provided Fallbrook with a first-round bye. Valley Center had the seventh seed, giving the Jaguars a first-round home game May 10 against 10th-seeded Point Loma. The 16-7 Valley Center victory sent the Jaguars to Fallbrook for the May 12 quarterfinal match.

Valley Center had a 4-1 record in Valley League play with an 11-8 Fallbrook win April 22 in Valley Center turning out to be the game which decided the league championship. The two teams also had a non-league game March 21 in Fallbrook which ended as a 10-9 Warriors triumph.

Berg coaches field hockey as well as girls lacrosse for the Warriors. During the fall 2022 field hockey season, the Warriors and Jaguars played each other four times, and all four games had a one-goal margin. The two teams split their Valley League matches with each other and Fallbrook won a tournament game. The Warriors and Jaguars played each other for the CIF Division I championship, and Valley Center’s 2-1 win gave the Jaguars the title.

The girls lacrosse playoff game between the Warriors and the Jaguars was an 11-7 Fallbrook triumph. “It was a good win for us,” Berg said.

The field hockey rivalry enhanced the lacrosse playoff victory. “It felt good to come back in lacrosse and knock them out of the playoff picture,” Berg said.

Six of Fallbrook’s goals were scored by junior Shea Morgan, who also had one assist, three ground balls and two draw controls. Two other Fallbrook goals were from senior Taylor Sanchez, who added two assists and two ground balls. One goal apiece was scored by junior Jasmine Uresti, freshman Ally Amato and freshman Aylin Ramirez. Uresti also had one ground ball, as did senior Erica Garcia and junior Myah Pack. Uresti and junior Neveah Brugman had one draw control apiece. Pack is Fallbrook’s goalkeeper, and she made 11 saves against the Jaguars.

Fallbrook hosted the May 16 semifinal against Our Lady of Peace. “Things didn’t go our way,” Berg said.

“We had a couple of girls who were just purely exhausted and under the weather,” Berg said. “We played hard. We put our best foot forward. It just didn’t come out our way.”

The Pilots advanced to the final. Mount Carmel’s 15-7 win in that game gave the Sundevils the CIF Division II championship. Mount Carmel was responsible for one of Fallbrook’s two regular-season losses; the Warriors’ 8-3 loss March 8 was against Chaparral so the 17-8 Sundevils victory March 14 was Fallbrook’s only regular-season loss to a CIF San Diego Section team. The Warriors followed that defeat with a 14-game winning streak which was ended by the loss to Our Lady of Peace.

“It doesn’t take anything away from our season,” Berg said of the playoff loss. “I’m very proud of what the girls accomplished.”

During the season including playoffs the Warriors scored 251 goals while allowing 134. “This is the best win-loss record we’ve ever had. This is the highest number of goals for and the lowest number of goals against,” Berg said.

Fallbrook ended the season ranked 17th among the 62 San Diego Section teams from all divisions. The Warriors also had the largest junior varsity roster in team history. “We’re excited. The program is growing by leaps and bounds,” Berg said.

The Warriors’ first-ever playoff appearance was in 2021, when Sage Creek eliminated Fallbrook in the first round. The 2022 Warriors were 17-4 overall including a 6-4 first-round playoff win against Point Loma and a 14-5 quarter finals loss to Sage Creek, and a 4-2 Valley League record gave Fallbrook second in the final standings. Last year Fallbrook compiled a ten-game winning streak, which was a school record until the Warriors won 14 in a row this year.

Garcia and Sanchez were the only seniors on the 2023 team. “We have many girls going off to play club this summer. It’s going to make us even stronger for next year, so I have high hopes to win it all next year,” Berg said.

 

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