The San Diego Section lacrosse championships took place June 5 in three divisions in both gender fields.
Granite Hills High School represented East County in the Division I girls game at San Dieguito Academy. The secondseeded Eagles (18-2) finished runner-up to the top-seeded San Marcos Knights (13-4) by a score of 12-10.
It was a close battle for the reigning Grossmont Conference champions (10-0 in league).
While the end to the season was disappointing, Granite Hills coach Jose Carlos Soto pointed to the mere existence of the 2020-21 season as a landmark event.
“After having no season in 2020, rushing into this season, having to merge junior varsity and varsity to form one big team, this season can only be described as ‘an opportunity,’” Soto explained.
“We had so many reasons like many schools around us to just fold or give in to the pressures of having such an unbalanced experienced team. Half the team were varsity and JV returners, the other half were brand new. The challenge was set, our goals were set, and when it was all set and done, I believe every single player rose to the occasion. “I’m proud of them for not only overcoming but preserving.”
Soto said team standouts like Mikenna Ruffino, Morgan Newkirk and Natalie Acosta helped set the tone for this year’s team.
“They made it their responsibility to help their teammates grow and those intangibles just can’t be coached,” Soto said. “I don’t believe in second place, as mentioned before, at the end of the year, there is one champion, and San Marcos is the champion. So, like I told my kids after the close loss at the title game, close isn’t enough, and today we fell short, we didn’t finish the job.”