Breakers impress against top-notch competition

Rolling to another impressive performance, the Laguna Beach girls' water polo team picked up its ninth victory of the season Wednesday by taking down visiting Los Osos, 20-3, in nonleague action.

The Breakers (9-1) started strong and didn't let up. They went from a 6-1 lead after one quarter to 12-3 at the half and then shut out the Grizzlies in the second half.

Makenzie Fischer led the scoring with six goals and also had an assist and three steals. Yoshi Andersen scored five goals and had four assists, Melena Masson scored four times and had four steals, Lexie Del Toro scored twice with two assists and two steals, Sydney Saxe scored twice, had one assist and five steals, Mackenzie Baldridge had a goal and two assists and Alia Manetta had a goal and one steal.

Jenna Knott had six saves.

"I think this may have been our best performance so far this year," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. " Los Osos has a lot of good players and for us to win the way we did, and control both ends of the pool the way we did, was very impressive. Coming off three really tough games at the Holiday Cup, our girls look to be in good shape and playing very well right now. I was very pleased with all phases of the game"

Last Saturday, Laguna completed play at the Newport Harbor Holiday Cup tournament. The Breakers went 3-1 and finished in fifth place. They defeated Poway, Edison and Dos Pueblos. Their loss was to Santa Barbara.

In their pool-play opener Dec. 30, the Breakers routed Poway, 22-2, getting seven goals from Andersen. In another pool game that day, Andersen, Baldridge and Saxe all scored and Knott had 13 saves in a 4-3 loss to Santa Barbara.

The setback was the first of the season for Laguna, which held a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Breakers were without Masson, who couldn't play because of a reaction to a bee sting she suffered during practice Dec. 29.

Masson was back in the lineup Saturday and the Breakers won their final two games. First, they defeated Edison for a second time this season, 13-7. Andersen netted a game-best six goals for Laguna, which had scored a 15-7 win over the Chargers on Dec. 20.

The Breakers capped the tournament with an 11-7 win over four-time defending CIF champion Dos Pueblos. The Breakers outscored the Chargers, 7-2, in the second half, to get the big win. Andersen led the way with four goals and Makenzie Fischer scored three times. Knott had 10 saves.

"Our girls could have rolled over and felt bad for themselves but instead, we battled Santa Barbara for four quarters playing only seven field players and had every opportunity to win," Damato said of his team's ability to overcome the absence of Masson. "I learned a lot about this group that night and I think they learned a lot from the loss.

"The Dos Pueblos game was an especially good win considering we were down (3-0) in the first [quarter] and won. We have not beaten [Dos Pueblos] in four years, so that felt really good. Coming off the tournament, we feel we know what to improve on and we are already working hard to do so."

The Breakers host Coronado on Saturday in a 1 p.m. nonleague game. They'll start Orange Coast League play Wednesday with a 3:15 p.m. game at Saddleback. On Thursday, they are in Goleta for a 6:30 p.m. nonleague match with Dos Pueblos.

Laguna will stay up north to compete at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions on Jan. 13-14.


Girls' Soccer

The Breakers had great success on what Coach Bill Rolfing called their "desert tour" last week. Laguna traveled to Palm Desert for three nonleague games and returned home with two victories and a tie.

Rolfing said the trip, which included two nights of traveling and three consecutive days on the playing field, gave his team an "excellent opportunity" to prepare for the upcoming Orange Coast League season.

Laguna's trip began with a 2-1 victory Dec. 27 over host Xavier Prep. All-league player Marina Paul scored both goals. On Dec. 28, the Breakers went to Indio High and played the Rajahs to a 1-1 tie. Paul posted her third goal of the trip by scoring on a penalty shot.

The Breakers ended their trip with a 5-0 rout of Coachella Valley on Dec. 29 at Hovley Soccer Park in Palm Desert. Freshman goalie Kylie George earned the shutout. Fellow freshman Audrey Pillsbury and April Carlson both scored once and freshman Janie Crawford scored once, as Paul led the scoring with two goals.

The Breakers improved to 3-2-6.

The program held its alumni game Jan. 2 and the current Breakers and past Breakers played to a 2-2 tie.

Laguna starts Orange Coast League play at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Guyer Field against Estancia. The Breakers next week take on Calvary Chapel in a 3:15 p.m. league contest Thursday at Centennial Park in Santa Ana.


Boys' Soccer

The program blended the past and present Dec. 29 by celebrating its alumni game at Guyer Field.

"It was great to see so many familiar faces come back and play in the (alumni) game," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "Playing for Laguna Beach High School is a very special experience and one that all the players remember and cherish. The game was a lot of fun and really nice to see a mutual bond being formed between, past, present and future players."

Laguna (3-1-2), which has been idle since its last game Dec. 20, returns to action Friday for a 6:30 p.m. home game against San Juan Hills at Guyer Field. It's the final game of the nonleague season for the Breakers, who open Orange Coast League play at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against visiting Estancia.

"I am very happy with how the team has played and competed during the nonleague games," Richards said. "There has been a lot of growth both individually and as a team. Our game against San Juan Hills should be an excellent test. They have some very good players and will be a great way to prepare for the teams in our league."

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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