Newport Harbor strikes late to capture tournament title over Beckman

Scout Farmer, the feisty senior captain for the Newport Harbor High girls’ soccer team, got a yellow card late in the Best in the West Winter Soccer Classic “ABCD” division title match Saturday.

With the game in hand, Farmer didn’t really mind. The position on the bench would actually be advantageous to her moments later after the final whistle.

She was one of three Sailors who poured celebratory ice water on Newport Harbor coach Justin Schroeder. The Sailors used late goals by sophomore Makenzie Trigo and Farmer to beat Beckman 3-1, capturing the division title at Newport Harbor High.

Newport Harbor (5-2-1) had to rally after Beckman’s Jessica Ruggieri gave the Patriots the lead in the 17th minute. It was the first goal that the Sailors had allowed all tournament.

“They came out strong, but we only responded to that and came out stronger,” Trigo said.

Farmer scored her first goal on a header in the 38th minute, off a corner kick from the right from junior captain Sofia Velasquez. The Sailors took the momentum into the second half, and took the lead in the 71st minute.

Trigo scored a sliding goal from the right side of the box, assisted by sophomore Nicole Laz. It was Laz who had scored the game’s only goal in Newport’s 1-0 semifinal win over La Serna earlier Saturday.

Farmer then provided the insurance goal two minutes later, a blast from the left assisted by sophomore Sadie Pitchess. The Sailors survived three corner kicks from Beckman (5-2-3) in the closing moments.

The Sailors lost top senior Sianna Siemonsma to graduation and junior Emily Johnson to the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, but they seem to be doing just fine. Schroeder, who has run the Best in the West tournament for the past 10 years, said it was the first time he had won it in the top division. Last year, the Sailors won it in the second division, the “EFGH” division.

“It’s good to see everyone’s responding really well, everyone’s battling,” Farmer said. “We’re obviously no Sianna, no ‘E.J.’ but I think we’re handing it really well.”

Young players are producing for the Sailors. Freshman Reece Bodas was key in the midfield for Newport Harbor, as was freshman Jenna McConnaughey on defense, along with senior captain Ashlee Young. Senior goalies Ryah Montano (four first-half saves) and Bryana Esparza (two second-half saves) helped limit Beckman to just the one goal.

As a reward for winning the tournament, Farmer said the Sailors get to dye Schroeder’s beard pink during practice on Monday.

“I don’t remember saying OK to it, but apparently I did,” Schroeder said.

Twitter: @mjszabo