Aztecs Win First MPSF Championship

MPSF Tournament MVP,  SDSU's Morgan Taylor
MPSF Tournament MVP, SDSU's Morgan Taylor
April 29, 2018

2018 MPSF Lacrosse Championship Tournament

Host: San Diego State University (Aztec Lacrosse Field; San Diego, CA)

Sunday, April 29; 1:00 pm PT (MPSF Championship)

No. 2 seed San Diego State 11, No. 1 seed UC Davis 10 (OT)

MPSF Championship Final Box Score

MPSF Lacrosse Release 12

Note: San Diego State wins first MPSF Championship in any sport

2018 MPSF All-Tournament Team

Morgan Taylor-San Diego State (MVP)

Katy Sharretts-San Diego State

Jill Haight-San Diego State

Harlowe Steele-San Diego State

Taylor Sullivan-San Diego State

Mackenzie Lech-San Diego State

Grace Richards-UC Davis

Anna Belenis-UC Davis

Natalie Garces-UC Davis

Sorana Larson-UC Davis

Abigail Bergevin--Fresno State

Lindsay Hobson-Fresno State

Recap by SDSU

SAN DIEGO -- Sophomore Morgan Taylor scored the golden goal with 23 seconds elapsed in overtime, as San Diego State won the 2018 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship with an 11-10 triumph over UC Davis in the title game Sunday at Aztec Lacrosse Field.

Taylor almost single-handedly lifted SDSU to victory, scoring three of her game-high four goals over the final seven minutes of the contest, including the extra session as the Scarlet and Black erased a 9-8 deficit. In addition, sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Stapp made two clutch saves in the last 4:09 of regulation, including a stop with 11 seconds to go, after replacing an injured Katy Sharretts earlier in the second half.

Along with Taylor's heroics, the Aztecs received two goals apiece from junior Kirstie Greenlaw and sophomore Taylor Sullivan, while junior Jill Haight (1 goal) posted a team-high seven draw controls and four ground balls. SDSU's fortunes were also buoyed by junior Harlowe Steele (1 goal), who collected three ground balls and three caused turnovers, with the latter matching a personal-best.

The two teams combined for eight ties and three lead changes in a tight battle, with the Aztecs maintaining the upper-hand statistically in shots (35-19), shots on goal (27-16), draw controls (15-8) and ground balls (23-15). However, the Aggies (8-6) remained in contention throughout thanks in large part to the efforts of goalkeeper Grace Richards, who made 16 saves for the game.

Trailing 4-3 after UCD's Amanda Outcalt converted a free-position attempt at the 14:43 mark of the first half, SDSU responded with a pair of strikes by Greenlaw and Haight nearly two minutes apart to reclaim a 5-4 advantage. However, the Aggies soon followed with another equalizer, as Maddie Myers found the back of the net to knot the scoreboard up at 5-5.

The Aztecs appeared to take control over the final 6:36 of the period, as Taylor, Greenlaw and Steele hit pay dirt to give the host school an 8-5 advantage by intermission. Yet SDSU was unable to give itself further separation after the break, enduring a lengthy scoring drought of over 23 minutes.

In the interim, UC Davis stormed back into the lead at 9-8 by the 11:43 mark of the second half thanks to consecutive goals by MPSF Player of the Year Taylor Cuenin, Sorana Larson, Mar Alvear and Kelsey DeJesus.

Taylor took charge for the Aztecs at this juncture, tickling the twine with 6:37 remaining before adding another marker just over three minutes later to put the host school back in front 10-9.

With just over a minute left in regulation, Outcalt knotted the score at 10-10 with a successful free-position shot, and the Aggies won the ensuing draw, setting up a chance to win at the wire. The visitors got their opportunity with 11 seconds left on the clock, as Cuenin lined up for another free-position attempt. However, Stapp came up with the save at point-blank range to send the game into overtime.

SDSU wasted little time in redeeming itself from near disaster, as Sullivan won the opening draw of the overtime period. Just 23 seconds later, Taylor flung a shot past Richards into the back of the net, with the Aztec bench rushing down the field in jubilation.

NOTES --The San Diego State lacrosse team wins its first-ever conference title, giving the school its first MPSF championship in any sport. --The Aztecs set a program record for 11 wins in a single-season. --SDSU evens its all-time record at 4-4 vs. UC Davis, avenging a 15-9 setback in the regular season. --Morgan Taylor was named most valuable player of the MPSF Championship after notching a career-high four goals on Sunday. She finished her seventh game with multiple goals this year. --The Aztecs led at the half in all 11 of their victories this season. In addition, SDSU improved to 10-3 this year when scoring the first goal. --SDSU also moves to 11-3 when posting more draw controls than the opposition and 9-1 when outshooting their adversaries.

QUOTABLE "We knew this was going to be a very tough game, one that might come down to the last possession," said Aztec head coach Kylee White. "It's tough losing your starting goalkeeper (Katy Sharretts) to injury, but I was very proud of the way Amanda (Stapp) came in and looked confident in front of the cage."

"Even though we weren't scoring much in the second half, we still had great looks on a lot of possessions. I knew that if we just kept shooting, we would start cashing in on those opportunities."

"We achieved two of our goals this season, winning (at least) 11 games and the conference championship, which was a lot of fun. It just shows how all the little things that we work on during the year prepares us for this game and for this moment. It was a very special season, and I am so proud of our team right now."