Laguna girls captured the 47-team California State High School State Championships last weekend at Corona del Mar. The event is the only time schools from Northern California face the Southern California competition as the two regions compete in different seasons.
Nor Cal runs from August-November while Southern California sections except the Central play during the winter season, November-February. Central Section (Fresno-SLO) complete in the fall.
Laguna opened their run defeating a Dos-Pueblos-San Marcos JV team 14-6 followed by a 16-2 win over Vintage High School from Napa. On Saturday, July 14, the Breakers defeated San Clemente 13-3 the battled Corona Del Mar in the Sea Queens pool to a 6-4 victory. In that contest, the hosts took an early 1-0 lead before two quick goals by Molly Renner gave the Breakers the lead for good. Morgan Van Alphen scored twice to give Laguna a 4-1 lead with the Sea Queens scoring in the closing seconds of the first half for a 4-2 Breaker lead at the intermission. Claire Kelly scored early in the third period to make it 5-2 with CdM’s only period score coming on a five-meter penalty shot. In the final period, the Sea Queens scored to give their fans some encouragement but less than two minutes later, Jesse Rose scored to deflate any hope of a comeback.
On Sunday, July 15, at the Corona del Mar pool, Laguna defeated Orange Lutheran 8-4 in the semifinals taking the lead on a goal by Claire Kelly followed by two scores from Molly Renner to hold a 3-0 halftime lead. The Lancers cut the margin to 3-2 with less than three minutes into the third period but a score by Jesse Rose and two quick goals from Claire Kelly iced the contest.
Breakers were solid in the match with Mater Dei and were never threatened after they broke the contest open in the second period. Molly Renner scored in the first minute off a pass by Bryn Giofreddi only to be tied by the Monarchs early in the second period. Within a minute the Breakers took over with a score by Jesse Rose (Imani Clemons assist) and by Clemons (Emma Singer assist). Molly Renner scored from a pass by Rachael Carver and Laguna was up 4-1. The two teams traded scores in the closing seconds of the half and by the time Mater Dei found the cage again, it was already 10-3 with both teams playing their bench. Quinn Winter was in top form recording 10 saves.
It was Laguna’s sixth straight trip to the finals and their fourth title.
Laguna also entered their younger players (mostly eighth- and ninth-graders ages 12-15) and the future held their own with a 19thplace finish. The younger squad lost to Los Alamitos 15-2, but came back on Friday to trash the Tesoro varsity 17-3. Skylar Kidd had four goals while Hannah Carver, Lela McCarroll, and Avery Montiel with three scores each.
On Saturday, the squad defeated Menlo School 9-4 with Ava Houlahan scoring four goals. In the afternoon game, they crushed Carlsbad 11-1 with Charlotte Riches leading with three goals. Sunday morning they lost to Harvard Westlake 12-7 but bounced back to defeat Oaks Christian 14-4.
Tournament statistical leaders for B Team: Goals: 14 – Houlahan, Assists: 6 – McCarroll, Montiel, Pinto; Steals: 15 – Houlahan, Drawn Exclusions: 8 – McCarroll, Saves: 28 – Denny
“B” Team coached by Rob Carver, assisted by Steve Riches: Natasha Denney, Hannah Carver, Skylar Kidd, Ava Houlahan, Lela McCarroll, Charlotte Riches, Cleo Washer, Myah Pinto, London Boyd, Mikayla Lopez, Lauren Short, and Avery Montiel.
Final Top 20 Girls teams: 1 – Laguna Beach, 2 – Mater Dei, 3 – Orange Lutheran, 4 – Foothill, 5 – Huntington Beach, 6 – Corona del Mar, 7 – Leland, 8 – Campolindo, 9 – Sacred Heart Prep, 10 – San Marcos, 11 – Newport Harbor, 12 – San Clemente, 13 – Davis, 14 – Dos Pueblos 15 – Los Alamitos, 16 – Santa Barbara, 17 – Harvard Westlake, 18 – Santa Margarita, 19 – Laguna Beach JV, 20 – Oaks Christian
The high school boys finished 33rdout of 48 teams starting the tournament with a tough 8-6 loss to a good Foothill team on Friday, July 13, at the Knight’s pool. Later that evening they dropped a 3-1 contest to Valley Christian/San Jose an Open Division program from the Central Coast Section. On Saturday at Capo Valley, Laguna beat Murrieta Valley 10-6 and Coronado 15-3. On Sunday morning they lost to Servite 4-3 in a shootout after battling to a 12-12 tie in regulation. In the final contest, Laguna defeated Beckman 9-4. League rivals in the Sunset Surf finished with Newport taking second losing to Harvard-Westlake 11-8 in the finals. Huntington Beach finished seventh, and Corona del Mar 11th.
Up next is the Junior Olympics with the boys program running from July 21–24 and the girls from July 26-29. The older Laguna girls play for Saddleback-El Toro (SET) and in the top championship division with 18’s seeded fourth and third for 16’s. Laguna girls 14’s are seeded first and the girls 12’s are seeded second.
The score of the Laguna boys water polo run at the state high school championships was incorrectly reported in the July 20 edition. Breakers defeated Servite in the shootout 4-3 after ending regulation at a 12-12 tie. Laguna went 4-2 in the event.