Sophomore Julie Crowell scored seven goals, including three during the decisive run in the second half, to lead second-seeded Los Alamitos to a 15-13 victory over Santa Margarita in the U.S. Lacrosse South Division I girls championship.
The victory Wednesday at Mission Viejo High was the third consecutive title for Los Alamitos (17-3), the first with coach Liz Connelly. The first two titles came under the guidance of Meredith Meyran.
With its victory, Los Alamitos advances to the Southern Section finals Saturday at Redondo Union, the representative from the North Division.
Fifth-seeded Santa Margarita (15-4), which had never advanced past the first round in the playoffs and which upset top-seeded Foothill in the semifinals, proved a worthy finalist behind the play of Adrienne Anderson. The junior, who has already committed to Stanford and scored eight in the semifinals, scored five goals against Los Alamitos.
Despite a three-goal run at the end of the first half to give Los Alamitos 7-4 lead, Santa Margarita rallied in the third and Anderson's score gave the Eagles an 11-10 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
But the Los Alamitos defense, which shut down Beckman for about nine minutes in the semifinals, did the same thing to Santa Margarita. The Griffins scored five unanswered goals over the next 6 1/2 minutes. The 15-11 lead was too much for Santa Margarita to overcome.
Crowell scored three times during the decisive stretch. She was complemented by the three goals apiece from teammates Melissa Hastie and Allie Conrad, and goalkeeper Emily Alpaugh made 12 saves.