The stakes were high for the Scotts Valley High girls’ lacrosse team heading into Wednesday’s pivotal meeting against Stevenson School.
For starters, they were hoping to get a chance for redemption after suffering their first loss of the season to the Pirates.
A strong team defense and a stellar performance by goalie Olivia Tinetti helped the Falcons edge the Pirates, 17-16, in Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division play at Salinas High School.
“True team effort,” Scotts Valley coach Colleen Niklaus said in an email.
The Falcons were also unselfish with the ball, scoring 14 of their goals on an assist. Freshman midfielder Sofia Niklaus had six of those assists along with one goal scored.
Freshman midfielder Taylor Santos finished with four goals and she also had six assists.
Junior midfielder Ellie Raffo finished tied with a team-best five goals and an assist for the Falcons, and junior teammate Siena Wong also had five goals.
Junior midfielder Gianna Mandujano added two goals and one assist for Scotts Valley, which improved to 10-1 this season.
With the win, the Falcons also split the season series with Stevenson at one game apiece and are back in contention for at least a share of the league title.
Both teams sit atop of the PCAL Gabilan Division standings with an 8-1 record.
During their first meeting, the Pirates controlled most of the match en route to a 15-9 win over the Falcons on March 16 in Pebble Beach.
Scotts Valley turned it around Wednesday, winning the possession and ball control throughout the game.
Niklaus finished with nine possessions and four controls, Santos had six possessions and six controls, Raffo had five controls and Wong had one control and one possession.
“Great hustle for every ball,” Colleen Niklaus said. “Strong team effort all the way around.”
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Sofia Niklaus and Taylor Santos are sophomores at Scotts Valley High, which is incorrect. Niklaus and Santos are freshmen, not sophomores.