Torrey Pines dominates Cathedral for Open Division girls lacrosse title

Torrey Pines lacrosse celebrates the title.
(Anna Scipione)

Falcons end drought, get six goals from Laurel Gonzalez to rout Dons for first Open crown since three straight from 2016-18


From 2016 through 2018, Torrey Pines was the measuring stick for girls lacrosse in the San Diego Section. The Falcons won three straight Open Division titles and did so in dominating fashion, losing just one match to local teams in the three seasons.

Combined playoff scores in those three seasons: 121-53.

Then came The Drought. In the next three seasons the Falcons not only didn’t win an Open Division title, they won just one playoff game. (There were no playoffs in 2020 because of COVID.)

Said Torrey head coach Kaitlin Doucette of her players, “They do know it’s been awhile.”

Now, the wait is over. In a dominating performance, Torrey Pines defeated Cathedral Catholic 13-4 on Friday, May 19, night at Patrick Henry High to claim the San Diego Section Open Division title.

“It’s a long time,” said junior midfielder Laurel Gonzalez, who scored six goals. “We’ve been waiting.”

“It was seriously rocky,” said Falcons junior Tatum Bryant, who scored three goals. “We went through stages of leadership changes, seniors graduating and COVID definitely messed everyone up.

“Right now, it feels like this is what was supposed to happen. Throughout the years, we’ve played together forever. Finally, the stars aligned.”

With barely one minute to play in the first half, the score was tied at 3, thanks to some excellent saves by Cathedral freshman goalie Lyla Palecek.

Of Palecek’s work, Cathedral coach Sam Farrell said, “That was very impressive.”

Laurel Gonzalez scored six times in the title game.
(Anna Scipione)

But Gonzalez scored two goals in the final 1:04 to give the Falcons a 5-3 halftime lead. Then Torrey scored three goals in the first 5:33 of the second half to pull away. In all, the Falcons scored 10 of the last 11 goals.

Gonzalez, who has committed to Johns Hopkins, was dominant and likely wrapped up Player of the Year honors. She stole passes defensively, dominated the draw and skillfully put the ball in the net.

“She’s a stud,” said Doucette. “She was OK with being the one to take over.”

Ferrell coaches Gonzalez in club lacrosse and was hardly stunned by her performance.

“She crushed it,” said Ferrell. “She’s going to be a college All-American in a couple of years. She absolutely dominated in all parts on the field, the draw, defensively, on attack. She’s a do-it-all player. I’m proud of her.”

“There’s no one like her,” said Bryant. “She’s so crafty. She’s got the best stick skills of anybody in San Diego.”

Briley Volpp and Alexis Felago scored two goals for Cathedral.

Torrey Pines’ biggest challenge came in the semifinals when the Falcons held off a scrappy Coronado team 15-14.

The Falcons have now won four Open Division titles, more than any other program. Rival La Costa Canyon is next with three. Counting Division I championships, LCC has won eight titles to Torrey’s six.

Norcross is a freelance writer.

The champion Torrey Pines Falcons.
(Anna Scipione)