Breakers set a So Cal record with their seventh straight major in-season tournament title with another Newport Holiday Cup title last week in Newport Beach. The 20th annual tournament opened with Laguna crushing Rancho Bernardo 22-1 with the lone goal for the Broncos coming in the final seconds on a ricochet shot that just slipped past Thea Walsh. Nine different Laguna players scored, led by Natalie Selin and Sophie Legget with four goals each and Bella Baldridge with three goals and six assists. Rancho Bernardo is San Diego CIF’s defending Division 1 champions and last season they lost 25-0 to Laguna.
In the nightcap on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at Corona del Mar, Breakers defeated Mater Dei 10-5 despite the uneven officiating. Monarchs took a 1-0 lead on a power play with four minutes into the contest and the Breakers tied the score in the closing minute of the period as Natalie Selin took a pass from Ally Joachim and scored on a backhanded sweep to the surprise of both teams. Laguna outscored Mater Dei 5-1 in the second period to put the game away. Breakers are now 8-0 all-time with the Trinity League school.
On Saturday, Jan. 2, in the semifinals, Breakers shutout Corona del Mar 7-0 in a defensive contest played at Newport Harbor. Holly Parker had 11 saves, many at point-blank range. Breakers scored on their first possession as Bella Baldridge found Mia Salvini for a score with just 20 seconds gone in the contest. Laguna had eight shots in the first period on 10 possessions with only one score to show for their efforts. In the second period, Laguna only had eight possessions with five shots scoring twice. Haley Evans made it 2-0 on a pass from Baldridge at 3:06 in the period and Baldridge made it 3-0 with a power play score with just 4 seconds remaining off a Natalie Selin pass. In the third period, the defensive battle continued with the only score coming on Laguna’s last possession as Bella Baldridge drew a penalty shot that was taken by Sophie Legget to make the score 4-0. Breakers added two final scores late in the game as Evans scored again off a Baldridge pass and Keira Dailey scored at 1:44 remaining in the game to make it 7-0.
The finals against Foothill was nearly a repeat of last year’s championship as Laguna rolled past Foothill 10-4. Haley Evans, Natalie Selin, Sophie Legget, Evan Tingler, and Bella Baldridge all scored in the initial period as Foothill never really threatened.
Breakers had to face the Knights again this past Thursday, Jan. 7, in a non-league match at Foothill’s pool for this week’s only action. Foothill is ranked second in the county and third in So Cal.
Next week Laguna will open league play at Godinez on Wednesday, Jan. 13, and travel for a challenging non-league match on Thursday, Jan. 14, to Goleta before defending their Santa Barbara tournament title Jan 15-16. All the top So Cal teams will be in this year’s Tournament of Champions.
Scoring through 9 games:
Sophie Legget (Fr) 25, Bella Baldridge (Jr) 24, Natalie Selin (Sr) 20, Haley Evans (Sr) 11.
All-Time Orange Coast League G Water Polo Conference Game results:
Titles: Laguna Beach – 9