Team hopes to regain its throne
By Hector Trujillo
After seeing its three-year CIF-SD reign come to an end during last season’s playoff loss to Torrey Pines High, the Scripps Ranch High School field hockey team has gotten off on the right foot in 2023.
The Lady Falcons defeated their first two opponents with solid defense and great ball control starting with a 1-0 home win over San Marcos on Aug. 22, followed by a a 3-1 road victory over Rancho Buena Vista High School on Aug. 30.
“I feel like we dominated, and we had a ton of opportunities, we just had some struggles finishing,” said head coach Elizabeth Jacobs after the season opener versus San Marcos.
Scripps Ranch will play a total of 20 regular season games with 11 of those being at home and nine on the road including a match versus St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco on Oct. 13. League play will kick off at home against La Jolla High School on Sept. 28, followed by a road match against Canyon Hills on Oct. 2.
“Our goal is to always win CIF,” Jacobs said. “We always have our sights set on that.”
Jacobs is in her second year as head coach after previously serving as an assistant coach to Jane Morrill, who was among the coaches named CIF State Model Coach of the Year in March of 2022.
Among the players that continue to make an impact each game this season are senior Anika Sitapati who is instrumental as a center-mid with an ability to score and assist, and constantly being involved in the attack. Junior standout defender Emi Okuna has made immense strides in her level of play during the off season along with senior midfielder Piper Brentnall who uses her speed to exploit one on one opportunities.
“I have a better understanding of how to motivate and get us mentally prepared,” Jacobs said. “We are there physically and it’s just about getting our minds right.”
The team also has the services of new assistant coach Courtney Enge who graduated from and played for Scripps Ranch High School along with goalie coach Taylor Edwards.
Scripps Ranch won the CIF San Diego Section Open Division field hockey championship in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with 2020 being cut short due to the COVID pandemic.