Girls Win 4th Straight Holiday Cup
Laguna became the first team to win four consecutive titles at the same major tournament as the Breakers crushed OC’s No. 2, Orange Lutheran, 14-2 to capture the 21st Newport Holiday Cup on Friday, Dec. 30, at the Newport Harbor pool. The victory was the most lopsided major tournament final since girls water polo became an official CIF sport in the 1990s. The loss also snapped defending Division 1 champion Lancers 26 match win-streak and solidified Laguna as the top team in the OC. Breakers are 96-4 since December 2013.
Laguna took it to Orange Lutheran right from the start as Aria Fischer’s pass to Bella Baldridge resulted in a quick score from the lefty. The Breakers all-time assist leader surprised the goal keeper by taking the shot herself less than a minute into the contest. Claire Sonne, a transfer from Villa Park last season, added two straight goals on power plays at 4:47 and 4:11 of the first period. Another Laguna newcomer, Alex Peros (Dana Hills), scored off a Fischer assist and it was suddenly 4-0. Baldridge added one more to finish the period at 5-0, Laguna. The second period was much like the first with goals and assists that made it 10-0 at the intermission. The first of two Orange Lutheran scores came midway in the third period.
Laguna opened the tournament on Thursday with an easy 23-1 victory over Rancho Bernardo. In the afternoon, the Breakers defeated Santa Barbara 19-6 to tie their all-time series at 9-9. Saturday morning, Laguna continued their dominance over Mater Dei with a 17-3 victory over the Monarchs (third in the county) for their 10th straight series win. Against Mater Dei, Claire Sonne and Sophia Lucas teamed up in the third period on consecutive possessions for two quick scores in 30 seconds.
Top Holiday Cup Players: (Goals, Assists, Steals)
Baldridge: 14-13-7; Fischer: 13-9-7; Sonne: 11-9-4; Lucas: 9-7-9; Evan Tingler 3-7-8; Peros: 6-5-5 Isabel Riches: 7-1-7 Thea Walsh was the goalie for all four matches recording 34 saves, 1 assist, and 8 steals.
Breakers traveled to fifth-ranked Foothill for a non-league match this past Thursday, Jan. 5, and will be in Santa Barbara next week for a non-league match with San Marcos followed by the 18th Annual Tournament of Champions hosted by Santa Barbara. This is the only in-season tournament Laguna did not capture last season.