The Redondo Union girls lacrosse team recently won its 10th consecutive Bay League title and is now one win away from playing in the Los Angeles County/Orange County Girls Lacrosse Championship. They played in the Los Angeles County championship against Agoura at Glendale High School on Wednesday.
Redondo Union advanced to the Los Angeles area championship after beating unbeaten Cate 19-5 Saturday at Culver City High School.
“The Cate game was really a breakout game for us,” said Redondo Union’s Brooke Tokushige. “I was really proud of our performance. I think we did great as a whole team and I can’t wait to see what the season has left in store for us.”
Allie Shafer led Redondo Union with five goals.
“Saturday was a great day for Redondo Union High School girls lacrosse,” Emma Hodges said. “After a close game with Royal we were determined to show that we belonged in the finals. We attacked early and held our lead throughout the game. I am looking forward to playing our best on in the final against Agoura.”
Cate brought in an 16-0 record, which had some of the Sea Hawks nervous.
“I knew that us getting a win was very possible,” Addy Bass said. “Within the first few minutes of the game we got our momentum going and we just started to play our game. Once we got our offense flowing I knew we were going to pull off the win and move on to the finals.”
Redondo Union head coach Tom Borgia had confidence in his team maybe even more than the players. Numbers a lot of times reveal a lot and he was right.
“We were really confident going into this game because we played a really tough schedule and they didn't play any hard games,” Borgia said. "I knew we were ready to come out fast on offense after the Royal game. We were fantastic, the girls moved the ball and we got a lot of open looks.”
Redondo Union fell behind 1-0, but it did not take them long to take control of the game.
Shafer scored on a crease roll, assisted on the next goal to Tokushige and then scored two more goals to put Redondo up for good at 4-1.
The Sea Hawks led 10-3 at the half. The scoring barrage continued in the second half with seven consecutive goals within 10:00.
Bass scored four of those goals.
“The fact that we had a 10-goal lead and a running clock on them for 22 minutes in the second half of a semifinal game is crazy,” Borgia said.
Beside Shafer and Bass, others that scored were Tokushige, Sophie Ristorcelli with three goals each.
Redondo Union, which is ranked No. 1 in Los Angeles area, improved their record to 17-2, while Cate ended the season with their first loss and a 16-1 record.
Redondo Union opened the playoffs last week at home against Newbury Park and after falling behind early went on to a comfortable 23-15 victory in the first round.
Marianna Gamet scored seven goals for Redondo Union. Bass had five and Tokushige had seven assists.
In their next game against Royal from Simi Valley, it was tense battle up until the end with Redondo Union prevailing 7-6.
"After scoring 60 goals in our previous three games, the Royal game was a shock,” Borgia said. “It was a different kind of battle for us and we played really great defense. We won a low scoring defensive game for the first time in years."
It took a save by goalie Eva Lovell in the waning moments to preserve the one-goal lead and the eventual victory.
Royal had a free position with a chance to tie the game, but Lovell made a critical stop.
“I knew the girl who was taking the free position shot was going to go high because she shot high the last few times,” Lovell said. “I was ready and expecting a high shot and made the save.”
The Sea Hawks had a 5-2 lead at the half at home.
Before the playoffs started, Redondo Union had two league contests to finish up the regular season against Mira Costa and Peninsula with a shot at winning league once again. They won 18-5 over the Mustangs, who finished 9-8 overall, and Peninsula, 19-3.
Palos Verdes also won out against Peninsula and Mira Costa and both teams shared this year’s title, with Redondo Union winning it for the 10th year in a row.
Their exciting come-from-behind 13-12 win over Palos Verdes carried over into those final two games.
“That was one of the most exciting wins we ever had,” Borgia said. “After that game, we were ready to roll into the playoffs.”
Borgia added, "I love that we have won 10 straight Bay League titles, five times we were undefeated. Even more impressive is that we are going to our seventh Los Angeles final game in 10 years. We would love to win our fifth north title this year."
If the Sea Hawks win, they will play the Orange County champion at Newport Harbor High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday.