Laguna Captures Medals at Jr. Olympics
Girls Water Polo
Once again, the club polo squads for Laguna captured hardware in the 50th USA Water Polo Junior Olympics held in Orange County Pools last week, concluding on Sunday, July 28. Like last season, 18’s took bronze, 16’s took gold, 14’s silver and 12’s captured their third straight gold all in the top divisions.
The Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation had two girls 12’s teams and one 14’s team compete this year. The A team, coached by Rob Carver, won the title for the third straight year going 7-0. They defeated Arroyo Grande 18-1, Trojan 18-2, Huntington Beach Orange 18-3, San Diego Shore 14-12, Northwood (O Lutheran) 9-6, Vanguard 11-5 and LA Premier (Harvard-Westlake) 12-8 in the finals. Siena Jumani did an exceptional job as goalie, while Sofia Umeda and Molly Wilkerson were selected MVP’s of the division. The 12’s Maroon squad went 6-3 on the weekend finishing 17th.
The A team went 6-1 losing in the finals to SoCal (Foothill) 5-2 in a well-coached defensive battle. Charlotte Riches was the top field player, and Lauren Schneider was exceptional in the cage and clearly made the difference in getting the squad to the finals. Their wins were 17-0 over American River, Stanford A 14-4, Santa Barbara Premier 8-5, Corona del Mar 6-3, Santa Barbara 805 10-6, and San Diego Shores 9-1. Riches, Schneider, along with Jordan Schneider, Myah Pinto, Lauren Short and Cleo Washer, will be the incoming frosh class for the Breakers. The 14 B squad entered the lower “Classic Division” and went 6-1 for the tournament capped with a 15-13 victory over SoCal Gold B for the bronze medals.
The core of the high school sophomores and juniors as usual represented SET (Saddleback-El Toro) to capture the title after an unusual 10-9 loss on Saturday to Rose Bowl Red in the undersized Woodbridge pool held in a somewhat chaotic setting. The team coached by Ethan Damato and Trevor Lyle showed their resiliency and defeated Commerce 12-9 in the same setting to advance to the semifinals in the full-size Woollett Center pool. In ideal conditions, they crushed So Cal 8-2 then stifled Rose Bowl in a re-match 10-5, where the outcome was never in doubt. MVP Nicole Struss was assisted by Molly Renner, Emma Lineback, Rachael Carver, Ava Houlahan, Emma Singer, Jesse Rose, and Imani Clemons, all of whom were key in the wins.
The Set Grey squad went 4-4 on the weekend with a couple of tough losses. They opened with a 19-4 win over Praetorian, lost to the Set A team 16-2, defeated American River 10-6, lost to South Coast Red 5-4, defeated Greenwich 4-3 in a shootout after regulation ended in a 8-8 tie, lost to Davis 11-8, lost to Lamorinda 7-6 before bouncing back to defeat San Diego Shores 12-6.
The squad that included graduating seniors Quinn Winter, Claire Kelly, CiCi Stewart along with incoming seniors Morgan Van Alphen, Grace Houlahan, and Tea Poljak were supplemented with an all-star group from area high schools that included Sophie Wallace and Grace Myers from CDM, Hannah Constandse from Mater Dei, plus five all-stars from Santa Margarita. The team defeated Diablo Alliance Black 20-1, Commerce 13-2, lost to Santa Barbara 805 10-9, defeated Huntington Beach Orange 15-7, Northwood 12-9, Diablo Alliance Red 11-6 and 805 C team 11-8. In the semifinals, they lost to the eventual champion 680 10-6 in a tough battle Sunday morning. In the third-place game, SET defeated Rose Bowl 4-2 in a shootout after regulation ended in an 8-8 tie.
The Set 18’s Grey went 4-4 on the weekend with four very close losses.
Recent past finishes:
|Cal State Games||1st||1st||1st||2nd||1st||1st||2nd|
Boys Soccer: Coach Richards Departs
Laguna’s longest soccer coaching run ended this past week with the resignation of nine-season coach Daniel Richards, who is departing the Breakers to be the assistant men’s coach at Cal Poly Pomona. Richard’s 64-62-38 all-time record ranks second in career wins just behind Andy Thomas (1997-2004) and his top successes were two hard-fought second place finishes in the Orange Coast League, plus five post-season appearances. A new coach will be in place before the season opens in November.
Have notes on your team’s summer competition? Please send to Frank Aronoff at [email protected].