West Ranch girls lacrosse’s Sophie Shin found herself in an unfamiliar situation on Monday night. With the ball in her crosse, the defender-turned-forward was adjacent to Valencia’s goalie and facing an oncoming Viking defender. But with a quick roll to the right, Shin centered herself and launched a low shot to the left post for her first career goal as a Wildcat. “It was kind of like, all blurry,” the freshman said of the goal. “I had tried multiple times and I had like, either dropped it or missed or whatever and then I usually play defense so it was a brand new thing to me.” Shin was one of 11 different West Ranch players to score in the Cats’ 17-3 win over Valencia at Valencia.
Bella Gervasi led the team with five goals, followed by Sammy Nuchow, Hope Jin and Hannah Landon who each had two apiece. Nuchow also added four assists. “To see that 11 different girls were able to score, I honestly can’t think of a better comforting feeling at the end of the game,” said West Ranch coach Leesa Chelminiak. The Vikings were prepared for the offensive onslaught, however, bringing back skilled midfielder Shelby Lewis and bulking up their net-front presence. “We knew it was going to be a defensive game,” said Valencia coach Cynthia Hasseman. “…My defense did very well holding their own against the offense. The score may not reflect that, but they’re actions on the field did.” Katarina von Mecklenburg scored twice for the Vikes, who are in their third year as a program, with Jennifer Elliot tacking on a goal of her own. Regardless of the end result, both teams relish the opportunity to take on a fellow Santa Clarita Valley team. “It was fun to like, come here and play a game where we didn’t have to come too far,” said Shin. “…We’re friends with them, too, so it’s kind of like, just a nice experience.” After dropping their first game of the season to Oak Park, West Ranch went on to achieve a five-game win streak outside of tournament play with its defeat of Valencia. “We’re working for championships right now,” Chelminiak said. “That’s our goal this year.”