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Laguna Beach girls’ water polo finishes season with CIF SoCal Regional Division I title

Laguna Beach's Emma Lineback competes against Newport Harbor during the CIF Southern California Regional Division I semifinals on Saturday at Segerstrom High in Santa Ana.
(Kevin Chang/Staff Photographer)

Members of the Laguna Beach High and the Bishop’s School of San Diego girls’ water polo teams stood poolside Saturday night before the CIF Southern California Regional Division I title match.

As they got ready for player introductions, they also all sang along as one to the music that was playing.

“Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us, we’re far from the shallow now.”

The song “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, featured in the movie “A Star Is Born,” apparently is a popular one for teenage girls.

"[Breakers coach] Ethan [Damato], we looked at him to see if it was OK,” Laguna Beach’s Molly Renner said. “He was just singing along. That was funny. We were all just singing.”

“Shallow” is the last word that would describe the Breakers this season, though.

They again showcased their depth, beating the Bishop’s 17-8 at Segerstrom High. Laguna Beach (33-1) set a program single-season record for wins and in the process, became the first team to win the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title and SoCal Regional Division I title in the same season.

“We were going to try to get a lot of people in, but obviously, we want to win,” Damato said. “That’s one of the things I’m really proud of with this group. We just don’t take days off. We don’t take games off. It doesn’t matter if it’s a summer game or a regional championship game, they compete. That’s what I asked of them this weekend, to come here and compete for each other. I thought they did a great job of that.”

Emma Lineback (two assists) and Morgan Van Alphen led Laguna Beach with four goals each in the final, which was the Breakers’ first matchup against the Bishop’s this entire season. Renner had three goals and three assists, while Emma Singer scored twice.

Jessie Rose, Nicole Struss, Ava Houlahan and Lela McCarroll scored one goal each, while freshman goalkeeper Lauren Schneider made nine saves.

Top-seeded Laguna Beach broke the match open with seven goals in the second quarter, taking a 10-4 halftime lead over No. 3-seeded the Bishop’s, which had upset No. 2 Foothill 9-4 in the semifinals.

“Last year we didn’t win [this tournament], and I think we were kind of disappointed, not ending the season right,” Singer said. “It’s easy to come out and just think that [this tournament] is not as important as CIF, but we’ve just worked so hard. I think we really deserve it. We always just come ready to play and treat every game like it’s important.”

The Breakers, playing the tournament without junior standout Rachael Carver (shoulder), beat Newport Harbor 10-9 in overtime in the Division I regional semifinals earlier Saturday. Lineback and Rose led Laguna Beach with three goals each.

Taylor Smith scored three goals for Newport Harbor (23-9), and Olivia Giolas added two.

Laguna Beach went 6-0 against Newport Harbor this season.

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Imperial Beach Mar Vista 3, Marina 2 (sudden-death OT): The Vikings’ season ended after the loss in the CIF Southern California Regional Division III semifinals Saturday at Segerstrom High.

Senior goalkeeper Emma Marsh made 22 saves for Marina (22-12). Coach Tamara Towgood said that Marsh set the CIF Southern Section single-season record for saves, with 452 on the year.

Taylor Lambert and Rebeka Macias had the goals Saturday for Marina, the CIF Southern Section Division 6 champion.

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