Laguna survives

An early-season showdown, one of many coming up for the Laguna Beach girls' water polo team, took place Tuesday at the Laguna pool.

And the game between two CIF Division 1 teams didn't disappoint, as Laguna withstood a potential score-tying shot by Edison in the final seconds to emerge with an 11-10 victory.

The Breakers entered the game ranked sixth; Edison was No. 8.

"I thought we started strong for the second game in a row, but also like our last game, we were unable to execute well enough to ever play with a comfortable lead," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "In this case we let Edison go on a 5-1 run on us in the first and seconds quarters, putting us down 6-3 at one point and 6-4 at half. We fought hard in the second half and showed a lot of heart."

Laguna played tough defense in the third quarter, where it held Edison to a single goal. The Breakers' offense, meanwhile, posted four goals that allowed them to take an 8-7 lead into the fourth quarter.

Breakers junior Yoshi Andersen led all scorers with four goals and added two assists and a pair of steals. Lida DeGroote scored three goals, Jessie Holechek scored twice and Riley Duncan, who had three assists, and Melena Masson both scored once.

Goalie Etianne Manetta recorded eight saves and three steals. Younger sister, Alia, also had three steals.

Junior Ashley Dorman led Edison with three goals, with senior Haley Kunert and juniors Abby Oshiro and Alys Williams all scoring twice.

"We came into the game knowing we can compete with them," Edison Coach Diggy Riley said. "It was a game of runs."

Tuesday's win allowed Laguna to start an important week on a positive note. In addition to playing Edison, the Breakers faced No. 10 Fountain Valley on Thursday (the score wasn't available at press time) and Saturday, they travel north to take on Agoura, the No.1-ranked team in Division 2, at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

"We know Agoura will give us a tough game," Damato said. "They are a very physical team that likes to press, and so are we. It should make for an exciting game.

"We play a very tough schedule and if we're not ready to play, we can lose any number of games on our schedule. We played just well enough to win this time, but we'll take it."

Following Saturday's game against Agoura, Laguna hosts San Clemente in a 3:15 p.m. nonleague game Tuesday.

During the upcoming holiday break, the Breakers will compete Dec. 30 and 31 at the Newport Harbor Holiday Cup.

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