Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Oak Hall girls capture district championship

After falling in the district championship two of the last three seasons, the Oak Hall girls’ lacrosse team are champions.

The Eagles carried their momentum from a 20-0 victory Monday night of Eastside into a 20-3 win over Santa Fe Wednesday night at home.

Oak Hall coach Darren Johnson said the team’s experience against top-notch opponents like Bolles and Ponte Vedra prepared them for the playoffs.

“I set up that schedule to set us up for success in the postseason, so the girls would get all those reps and get familiar with playing a strong team,” he said.

Here are takeaways from the match.

Sun all area basketball:Gainesville High’s Leyah Houston is big school player of the year

More all area basketball:Fort White’s Jacovya Major is small school player of the year

Gainesville all area soccer:PK Yonge’s Faith Hardy is small school player of the year

Oak Hall averages a goal per minute to start

Oak Hall celebrates its district championship win on April 13, 2022.

Oak Hall received the top seed in Class 1A District 4 Tournament, but third-seeded Santa Fe entered with confidence. The Raiders (9-4) finished with a better regular season record than the Eagles (8-4) and beat No. 2 seeds GHS 15-11 Monday night.

But OHS, which defeated SFHS 17-1 on March 15, fired out of a cannon to start. Less than nine full minutes into the contest, the Eagles built a 10-0 margin, primarily due to the play of freshmen Sarah Miller and Harper Johnson.

“Winning the first several draws were key,” Johnson said. “Getting a four-goal lead helped us settle into the game and grow more comfortable.”

Time to vote:Poll: Trenton, Gainesville, Lafayette and Oak Hall all have Athlete of the Week nominees

Santa Fe coach Kayla Cromwell said her team appeared shell-shocked initially.

“Mentally, we gave up a little bit at the beginning when they took a lot of shots on us,” he said. “We needed to get ourselves back into the groove of what we do and playing our game.”

The Raiders eventually threw one into the back of the net but still trailed 15-1 at the half.

Game slows down in the second half

The second half felt like a siesta after the fiesta of Eagle goals in the first half. Oak Hall didn’t pull the trigger on nearly as many shots, and scored just five times in the frame, including once in the last 17 minutes.

However, both coaches were quite vocal even with the result decided, adding that was intentional.

“We still want them to pass the ball correctly and work through all their progressions,” Johnson said. “Our speed on transition we need to work on. Make sure we cut them off from easy fast-break goals.”

For the second part of the match, Johnson started Savannah Loges, a sixth grader. He said, with the result in hand, he wanted everyone to play in a big game.

What’s next?

OHS awaits how the Class 1A regional tournament will be determined. Oak Hall should know by Friday and expects to host a game, Johnson said.

Santa Fe hopes to receive an at-large bid, but in case it doesn’t, Cromwell said the team, especially the seniors, have set a legacy as the Raiders reached the district championship for the first time.

“The seniors started a legacy here, and they’ve set some serious records that the younger girls are going to beat,” she said. “It’s their time to shine next season, but they’ve got to reach that bar the seniors set.”

Comments are closed.