Santa Margarita, Mater Dei duel to a draw in girls soccer, remain tied atop Trinity League – Orange County Register

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SANTA ANA — The Santa Margarita and Mater Dei girls soccer teams left the pitch after 80 minutes Tuesday night in the same position in the Trinity League as they were before kickoff. But the outlook for each squad still emerged a bit different.

The Eagles and Monarchs drew added confidence in their prospects after playing to a 0-0 draw at Mater Dei High.

The deadlock after regulation kept Santa Margarita (8-1-2, 2-0-2), ranked No. 2 in Orange County, and No. 5 Mater Dei (4-6-2, 2-0-2) tied atop the Trinity League through the first round of league play.

“I think we dominated,” Santa Margarita coach Craig Bull said of the match. “(Our) team has got better and they’re playing just as well as last year’s team. They’re just not having any luck, and tonight is an example of that.”

“This team can beat any team on any given day,” the second-year coach added.

Mater Dei also felt encouraged after senior goalie Sierra Schwarz recorded her ninth save on the final play to secure the tie.

“I think the girls found a little confidence through the game and they started believing in each other and I thought we were close to creating a (scoring opportunity),” Monarchs coach Matty West said. “This a talented group (where) the best is yet to come.”

The Pacific-committed Schwarz grabbed a lightly-touched rebound shot off a corner on the final play to cap an effort that West called “sensational.”

“She really gives our defense a lot of confidence,” he said of Schwarz.

The senior signaled her efforts by stopping a hard shot from USC-bound Faith George from inside the box in the sixth minute. Schwarz made a diving save later in the first half and scrambled in the second half to punch away two dangerous shots.

Santa Margarita, the reigning Division 1 champion in the CIF-SS and CIF State regional, outshot Mater Dei 8-1 in the first half. Freshman Felicity Nguyen had a left-footed shot for the Eagles blast off the crossbar just before halftime.

The stats also sided with Santa Margarita in the second half. The Eagles outshoot the Monarchs 7-3 and allowed few challenges for goalie Peyton Trayer, who finished with one save.

Mater Dei surged toward the end of regulation. USC commit Lily Biddulph almost scored in the 76th minute but her header off a cross by Jenna Rivera sailed wide of the goal.

The backlines for both teams played well. Santa Margarita’s defense was anchored by Kaylee McKeehan while Shannon Nettekoven helped lead Mater Dei.

In the second half, the Eagles shifted Emma Newman to the backline after Natalie Leon left with a head injury.

The teams close out their league seasons at Santa Margarita on Jan. 31.

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