GWP: Royals battle to the end against No. 2 Foothill

San Marcos gave second-seeded Foothill all it wanted in the CIF Division 1 quarterfinal match on Saturday.

The Royals hung with the talent-laden Knights for a half before falling 13-5 in Orange County.

San Marcos trailed 3-2 after the first quarter and 5-4 at halftime. But Foothill, which has seven Division 1 recruits on its team, stepped up its counterattack in the third quarter and opened up a 9-5 lead. The Knights held the Royals scoreless in the final period to book a trip to the semifinals.

San Marcos goalie Jenna Phreaner frustrated Foothill with 11 saves. On offense, Halie Johnson scored two goals, including the first one of the game on a penalty shot. Riley Heiduk, Hailey Gellert and Hannah Koper each scored one goal.

It was San Marcos’ first quarterfinal appearance in years.

“This was the end to a great season,” coach Chuckie Roth said. “We continued to improve each game. The last time we played Foothill we were down 0-6 and 0-10 in the first and second quarter. They were fast and their counter came alive on three turnovers in the third period. That proved to be the breaking point.”