Breakers Take Sunset Surf League Championship
Girls Water Polo (26-1, 6-0)
Breakers continue to prep for another D1 CIF run as they captured the 25th Annual Southern California Championships held last week at Irvine High School/Heritage Park. Breakers easily defeated Long Beach Poly 21-2, D1 #12 San Clemente 18-3, #8 Los Alamitos 15-5, and #3 San Marcos 12-2. In the finals against their season nemesis #2 Foothill, Laguna once again trailed after one period as the Knights converted on two power plays for a 4-3 lead. After a scoreless second period, the Breakers tied the contest on their initial possession after Jessie Rose won the sprint. Molly Renner provided the score off a pass from Rachael Carver with just 30 seconds gone in the period. Two possessions later, Rose drew an exclusion and Rachael Carver scored on the power play from a pass from Emma Lineback. The advantage slipped away in the final two minutes of the period as Foothill skillfully executed two power play scores to take the lead into the final quarter.
Rose once again won the sprint and Struss provided the tying goal off a quick pass from Emma Lineback with just 18 seconds off the clock. At the 3:19 mark, goalkeeper Lauren Schneider aggressively tried to recover a Foothill shot that she had just blocked and the Knight’s were awarded a five-meter penalty shot. Schneider blocked the attempt by Malia Allen and you could sense the momentum shift. Breakers quickly countered on the ensuing possession with Emma Lineback tossing a score off a Carver pass. Schneider blocked another Foothill shot followed by Nicole Struss scoring at the two-minute mark to ice the game.
The victory marked Laguna’s sixth SoCal title in the past seven seasons (they lost the 2018 title 8-6 to Dos Pueblos) and their fourth “Triple Crown” capturing all three major tournaments in the same season. Overall, Laguna has now won 17 of the past 19 major in-season tournaments dating back to 2014—an unprecedented accomplishment in the 25 years of the sport in Southern California. Nicole was named Most Outstanding Field Player and Emma Lineback and Rachael Carver were tabbed to the All-Tournament squad.
This past Tuesday, Laguna wrapped up their 14th consecutive year going undefeated in league play with a sloppy 9-5 win over Los Alamitos in a league contest played at the full-size pool at Newport Harbor. The chilly windy conditions did affect the play.
Last home game / senior game: Friday, Feb. 7, 4:15 p.m. vs #17 Mira Costa – admission is free. Breakers have faced the Mustangs only once earning an 8-6 win at the Manhattan Beach school in the 2005 D2 SSCIF playoffs. Breakers will honor their three seniors: Grace Houlahan (Princeton), Morgan Van Alphen (UCLA), and Haley Parness (Chapman).
SSCIF Playoffs: Pairings will be released on Saturday, Feb. 8, at cifss.org. Laguna’s first game will be Thursday, Feb. 13, at a site outside of Laguna due to the undersized local pool.
Laguna’s JV squad (15-5) finished 23rd in the tournament, losing 9-4 to the Corona del Mar varsity, beating D4 #5 Edison 12-5, losing 16-10 to D1 #14 Santa Barbara, and 13-11 to D1 #19 Harvard Westlake before beating Irvine 12-7 to wrap up their varsity opponent play.
Statistical leaders after 27 games:
Goals: 64 – Struss, 63 – Lineback, 49 – Renner, 36 – R Carver, 27 – Van Alphen
Assists: 53 – R Carver, 49 – Lineback, 30 – Emma Singer, 29 – Renner, 27 – Rose
Steals: 36 – R Carver, 27 – Lineback, 26 – Renner, 25 – A Houlahan, 23 – Rose
Drawn Exclusions: 45 – Struss, 33 – Clemons, 24 – Lineback, 21 – Carver, 15 -Singer, Rose
Saves: Schneider 173, Denny 11, Parness 11
Boys Basketball (19-7, 5-0) Sunset Wave League Champions
Laguna captured the Sunset Wave League title with a pair of victories crushing Marina 66-23 on Jan. 29 and Fountain Valley 54-49 last Friday at Laguna. The regular season concluded on Feb. 5 at Huntington Beach (6-20, 1-4). A win would give the Breakers only their 11th 20-game win season in 86 years of basketball.
SSCIF playoff brackets will post about noon on Sunday, Feb. 9, (www.cifss.org). First round game should be on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m. and most likely at Laguna. Don’t miss this chance to see a very talented group of athletes representing the Breakers.
Feb. 3 poll for D3AA: 1 – Providence/Burbank, 2 – Westlake, 3 – Salesian, 4 – Servite, 5 – Laguna Beach, 6 – Hillcrest, 7 – Silverado, 8 – Cerritos, 9 – Paraclete, 10 – Mark Keppel, 11 – Ventura, 12 – Schurr, 13 – Viewpoint, 14 – La Salle, 15 – Santiago/Corona, 16 – Newbury Park & William S Hart
Season: Naess has 505 points in 26 games good for 14th place in season scoring. Willie Rounaghi has 60 three-pointers ranking 13th on the season list.
Girls Basketball (10-18, 0-6)
Laguna jumped out to an early lead but could not hold off Marina (8-20, 4-2) in the final period, losing 52-45 in their final contest for the season. Sophie Marriner scored 14 for the Breakers, while Sabrina Yang added 11. Seniors Maddy Garwall, Julia Henry and Zoe Payne-Carter concluded their careers.
Boys Soccer (6-9-2, 1-4)
Breakers lost a tough 2-1 contest on Friday, Jan. 31, to Sunset Wave League champion Fountain Valley to end their quest for post-season play. The final game of the year was on Feb. 5 at second-place Huntington Beach (8-7-4, 3-1-1)
Girls Soccer (6-5-5, 2-1-2)
Cameron Russo notched her seventh shutout of the season as stunned Sunset Wave League champion Marina 1-0 on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Guyer Field. Breakers needed a win or tie over third place Newport this past Thursday to advance to the D3 playoffs. Playoff brackets will post on Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. on the CIFSS.org website.
In case you missed last week’s notice:
Baseball: D3 / 7 Divisions, Feb. 15 @ Beckman (DH)
Softball: D6 / 7 Divisions, Feb. 25 vs. Whitney @ Cerritos Reg Park
Boys Golf: Southern Division (1 of 7 regional divisions), March 4 vs. Estancia @ Aliso Viejo GC
Boys Lacrosse: D2 / 3 Divisions, March 4 @ Esperanza
Girls Lacrosse: D3 / 3 Divisions, Feb. 21 vs. Canyon
Boys Tennis: D2 / 5 Divisions, Feb. 12 @ Beckman (Lower Peters Pk)
Boys Volleyball: D1 / 6 Divisions, Feb. 22 @ Tesoro Tournament
Track & Field: D4 / 4 Divisions (Enrollment based), Feb. 29 – four-way meet with St. Margaret’s, Canyon, Laguna Hills
Swim & Dive: D1 / 4 Divisions, March 11 vs. Huntington Beach