Following the emotion of an NCS Championship on Saturday evening the Lady Dons returned to the Acalanes pool on Tuesday for a first round match in the CIF NorCal Division 1 Championship and to defend their unbeaten record. The NorCal Championship is for the best high school teams in Northern and Central California and the Lady Dons are seeded one. Notably, this is the Dons first trip ever to the NorCal Championships. They were also seeded #1 last year but fires and smoke cancelled the tournament so this is unfinished business!
Their opponent, the number 8 seed, St Francis HS Lancers from Mountain View had qualified by making the semi-final of the CCS Open Division Championship and arrived with a 19-8 record. After the noise and intensity of Saturday’s final everything seemed a little flat, and that was how the Dons started. In a first quarter of stray passes and fluffed shots it took more than 3 minutes for the first goal and to everyone’s surprise it was the Lancers who struck first. The Dons seemed lackadaisical and Coach Misha Buchel called an early timeout to reset the team’s energy. The break had the desired effect with the Dons looking sharper and goals from Claire Rowell and Jewel Roemer put the Lady Dons in front at the end of the first quarter, but not before they had contrived to miss a penalty shot and a number of other chances. If the Lancers were thinking they had an opportunity for an upset their hopes were to be quickly dashed in the second quarter as the Lady Dons found their rhythm and scored seven unanswered goals from Mary Beth Heffelfinger (2), Claire Rowell, Jewel Roemer (2), Heidi Heffelfinger and Alana McCartney. It was 9-1 at half time and the game was effectively over.
In the second half the Dons took the opportunity to rotate the squad and give everyone game time. Goals from Alana McCartney and Caroline Schirmer made it 11-1 after three quarters. Further goals from Alana McCartney, Heidi and Mary Beth Heffelfinger gave a final score of 14-2. Alana McCartney, Mary Beth Heffelfinger and Jewel Roemer all scored three goals with other goals for Heidi Heffelfinger (2), Claire Rowell (2) and Caroline Schirmer. Mary Beth Heffelfinger made three assists with others from Jewel Roemer (2), Claire Rowell (2), Alana McCartney, Emma Miller, Caroline Schirmer and Alex Mould. Alex Mould made three steals with others from Alana McCartney (2), Caroline Schirmer (2), Emma Miller and Brooke Westphal.
Next up a semi-final against Davis HS at 5pm on Thursday 21st November at Acalanes!