Girls Water Polo (26-3)
The 2018 squad closed out the season with a sweep of three opponents to capture the inaugural Southern California CIF Division 2 water polo title last weekend at Corona del Mar High School.
Breakers opened play on Friday, March 2, with a 20-1 victory over San Diego CIF Division 3 champion Point Loma (19-9). Laguna scored on their first three possessions to lead 3-0 after just two minutes of play. Eleven players scored, led by Rachael Carver with three goals while two scores were made by Isabel Riches, Sophia Lucas, Evan Tingler, Molly Renner, and Nicole Struss. Alana Evans had five assists, Lucas made five assists while Quinn Winter recorded seven saves in three quarters.
On Saturday, March 3, Laguna once again jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two minutes of play to easily defeat Orange Lutheran in the semifinal contest. Evan Tingler scored three goals, adding an assist, a steal and also earned a drawn exclusion. Thea Walsh recorded five saves.
In the championship game, Breakers had their hands full. Los Alamitos and their star player, Baylee Weber, the county’s top-ranked player, had advanced to the finals with an overtime win over Corona Del Mar earlier in the day during the middle of a cold rain squall.
Laguna scored on their first possession as Isabel Riches connected on a two-meter sweep off a pass by Alex Peros but the next three Breaker possessions ended in missed shots. Los Alamitos tied the game midway through the period and scored twice again on their next three possessions to carry a 3-1 advantage to the last seconds of the first quarter before Sophia Lucas fired a score off a Claire Kelly pass to cut the deficit.
Isabel Riches tied the score midway in the second period off another Kelly pass but Weber quickly put the Griffins back in the lead with her third score.
Breakers finally took the momentum in the final minute before halftime as Alana Evans drew an exclusion of Los Al’s Eva Browning and then fired a quick pass to Sophia Lucas on the power play to knot the score at 4. Seconds later, Breakers had the ball and Molly Renner took a Lucas pass to send Laguna into the intermission at 5-4.
The Third quarter was all Laguna with Evan Tingler passing to Sophia Lucas on consecutive possessions to open the scoring to 7-4. Molly Ringer added a goal off another Tingler pass while Ringer tossed a pass to Alex Peros and it was now 9-4. Isabel Riches made it 10-4 before Weber scored in the final seconds. Evan Tingler made it 11-5 before Weber added her last goal with 2:18 remaining, but even against the Laguna bench, Los Al could not score again. Thea Walsh was brilliant in the cage with nine saves closing out her career with the best two-year total.
Laguna’s team banquet was this past week with awards and records to be detailed in next week’s report.