By Sue Pascoe
After losing to Birmingham in the City Section finals in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Palisades High School girls lacrosse team fell once again to the Patriots in the April 28 championship game, 10-6.
The Dolphins had split two games with Birmingham during the regular season, winning 13-9 and losing 9-7. The teams were evenly matched going into Saturday’s title game, but “we came out flat,” said coach Betsy Economou, who had three players affected by head colds: midfielders Sammy Stahl and Isabel McKinlay and goalie Jessie Taft.
At halftime, Pali trailed 9-2. “We did not get possession at the draw,” Economou said. “I’m proud of how we held Birmingham to evenly matched going into Saturday’s title game, but “we came out flat,” said coach Betsy Economou, who had three players affected by head colds: midfielders Sammy Stahl and Isabel McKinlay and goalie Jessie Taft.
At halftime, Pali trailed 9-2. “We did not get possession at the draw,” Economou said. “I’m proud of how we held Birmingham to one goal in the second half,” outscoring the Patriots 4-1.
In the first half, Economou said, “We switched to a zone defense, and we got a lot of three-second calls that resulted in scores for Birmingham.”
If a player is inside the critical scoring area for more than three seconds and not within a stick’s length of a player, the referee calls that infraction. The determination of where the ball should be placed depends on when the whistle blew. In this case it often resulted in a free shot from the 8-meter circle and goals for Birmingham.
Birmingham Coach Scott Silva said, “It’s a great feeling to reach this accomplishment at the end of the season.”
He noted that since the girls rules changed last year and only three players are in the midfield until there is possession, this means “With three strong middies, you can gain possession. We were winning every draw.”
Silva has six seniors and two of them are middies. “Our middle will be a big question mark next year.”
“I’m really pleased with our regular season,” said Economou, who has only one senior: attacker Lily Wolman. “We’ve had a great showing.”
The Dolphins are now 14-5 overall, having lost non-league games to Chaminade (12-10), Royal (9-6) and Mira Costa (14- 10). Mira Costa beat top-ranked Redondo Union last week.
The seeding meeting for the CIF tournament was held April 29. The top 16 teams will face off, with the lower eight going into an invitational-type tournament.
Redondo, ranked No. 1, is followed by Palos Verdes, Westlake and Cate.
Sunday morning, Economou learned her team was ranked 14th, and its first game was against the Westlake on May 1.
Economou is hopeful that with a healthy team, PaliHi will then go onto face the winner of the Birmingham (seeded 11)/West Ranch (seeded 6) game.