Newport Harbor girls’ lacrosse routs rival Corona del Mar

Newport Harbor High senior Delaney Knipp made sure she found Corona del Mar High senior Joslyn Simaan after the game.

The two team captains for their girls’ lacrosse teams shared a nice moment after they had been involved in a tough play moments earlier. Simaan fouled Knipp with less than five minutes left in Thursday’s Sunset League game and was issued a red card. But Knipp called over her friend and gave her a big hug.

“There’s no love on the field, but then as soon as that last whistle blows, you’re back to being friends,” Knipp said. “She apologized. She said, ‘I didn’t mean to hit you that hard.’ And I said, ‘It’s lacrosse, it happens, there’s no hard feelings whatsoever.’”

By the time the two players collided, though, the game had long been decided.

Newport Harbor sophomore Reese Vickers scored nine goals as the Sailors routed the Sea Kings 16-5 at Davidson Field.

The Sailors (3-4, 1-0 in league) won their league opener while handing CdM (4-5, 2-1) its first league loss. Newport Harbor also won the Battle of the Bay game for the third straight year.

Newport Harbor High's Reese Vickers, third from right, scores against Corona del Mar during the first half of a Sunset League game at Davidson Field on Thursday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Vickers, a transfer from Foothill, put on a show. She matched her jersey number of No. 9 after her goal with 3:42 remaining in the game. By then, there was a running clock, as Newport Harbor had a double-digit lead since early in the second half.

“[Vickers] has been out for eight weeks with a really severe ankle injury, and this was just her second game,” Newport Harbor coach Brooke Martini said. “I think today she just really showed everyone, ‘I am Reese.’ She’s a team player. She knows how to draw offense and she has that really good lacrosse IQ. She’ll just go. You don’t know when she’s going to go, and when she does she’ll get you.”

Knipp and sophomore Joelle Rothbard both scored three goals for the Sailors, who did have to deal with adversity. They played the final 28:56 of the contest down a player, after accumulating four yellow cards in the first half.

Corona del Mar High's Tessa Montgomery, top, is called for a yellow card with this hit on Newport Harbor's Mariana Miller, bottom, in the first half of a Sunset League game at Davidson Field on Thursday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Ella Kenney and Daphne Chong already had yellow cards for the Sailors when Rothbard was called for one with 3:56 left in the first half due to rough play. Mariana Miller then simultaneously earned another yellow card, for dissent.

The Sailors were up just 5-2 at the time, but they extended their lead to 13-2 in the second half before CdM’s Hailey Butcher scored with 15:45 remaining.

Knipp led the Sailors with seven draw controls and junior defender Zoey Palmquist, a team captain along with Knipp, had a team-best four ground balls. Sophomore goalkeeper Willa Rath made seven of her 10 saves in the first half for the Sailors, who never trailed.

“We kept our confidence up,” Martini said. “We believed in ourselves, that we could do this, regardless of what is thrown at us. No one gives up, and that’s one of the strongest components of our team.”

Caroline Brewster, Celeste Wayne and Simaan each scored for CdM, while senior goalkeeper Katie Langley made four saves. Brewster, CdM’s leading scorer who scored five goals in the Sea Kings’ 11-6 league win over Edison on March 14, missed some time in the middle of Thursday’s game after she said she was whacked on the right knee.

“I think Newport Harbor’s a good team,” CdM coach Jessica Murray said. “They have some really good attackers that drive hard and have really good stick skills, and they have great midfielders. [Knipp] is really good — she’s a beast out there — and I give them credit. They’re a good team, and I wish we had played better.”

CdM will be without Simaan, who will be serving a suspension when the Sea Kings play at Foothill on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in a nonleague game. Newport Harbor plays at Los Alamitos on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in another key game as the Griffins are 1-0 in the Sunset League.

Twitter: @mjszabo