Midfielder Sophia Donovan (99) helped lead Nor Cal Elite Green to three pool-play wins and a 16-2 quarterfinal win over defending champion Pacific Falcons White at the US Lacrosse Girls' U15 West Regional Championship at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix. Medal day is Sunday.
California Teams Earn Three Semifinal Berths at US Lacrosse Girls' U15 West Championship
PHOENIX -- It's tough enough to keep teens out of a swimming pool, but it's even tougher when they've just played lacrosse in Phoenix's triple-digit heat.
"Girls, don't wear yourselves in the pool, tonight," Nor Cal Elite Green coach Richard Murphy warned his players after they the whipped the Pacific Falcons White, 16-2, during Saturday's quarterfinal-round play of the eight-team US Lacrosse Girls' U15 West Regional Championship.
Nor Cal Elite Green's victory Saturday was its fourth convincing win, and they're headed on a collision course with Orange County's (Calif.) Generation Next, a 15-3 win over Arizona's Desert Heat Orange Saturday and also convincing winners of four games.
Should the two clubs meet in Sunday's title match, they'll have to get past a pair of solid squads in the early-morning semifinals.
Nor Cal Elite Green will face Triple Threat (a 14-5 winner over NOR*CAL) and Generation Next will face Arizona's Desert Heat Black (a 12-9 winner over Northern California's Coast to Coast) in Sunday's semis.
Nor Cal Elite Green's Sophia Donovan netted three goals and had two assists in Saturday's win and Barry Catriona also netted three goals.
"This is pretty much what we expected," Murphy said. "We just want to get to Orlando. Everybody wants to get to Orlando and win the West here. Tomorrow should be tough."
Orlando is short for the US Lacrosse U15 National Championship July 24-26 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As many as 32 of the nation's best U15 teams will converge there to determine the national champion. The semifinalists have earned automatic invitations to Orlando. Sunday will determine how much of a registration discount they'll get should they accept.
Generation Next's Julia Gilliam scored four goals in Saturday's win. Lauren Robinson had two.
Triple Threat's Samantha Brasher scored three goals in their win over NOR*CAL.
Desert Heat Black got four goals from Lexi Bolton and two apiece from Tori Schiff and Logan Hicks in its win over Coast to Coast.
Generation Next head coach Yvette Cervantes praised the tournament's officiating.
"They're letting us play," she said. "It's better for everybody. Where we're from in California, we're used to a lot of whistle-blowing and a lot of stoppage of play for everything."
Saturday's temperatures were a bit of a relief for coaches, fans and players as temperatures hit 106 in the Phoenix area with a fairly strong breeze.
Friday's temperatures reached 115 in the area.
"It was brutal," Cervantes said. "We just had to keep giving them Gatorade and do whatever we could do."
Sunday's early-morning temperatures are expected to be in the 80s with highs expected to reach 103. Sunday's title game starts at 11:30 a.m.
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