No. 4 Falcons off to 6-0 start

LA CRESCENTA — Both the Crescenta Valley and San Marino high girls' water polo teams were ranked coming into Tuesday's game, but one still stood much taller than the other at Crescenta Valley.

The CIF Southern Section Division V fourth-ranked Falcons played their entire squad while cruising to a 20-9 nonleague victory over the Titans, ranked 10th in Division III, on Tuesday, keeping Crescenta Valley undefeated at 6-0.

"It was a good opportunity for us to try a number of different combinations and work some of our depth and give [our bench] the opportunity to perform today," Crescenta Valley Coach Pete Loporchio said.

"We just utilized our experience. We try to take it one game at a time and improve upon each game."

Seven Falcons scored in the match, but Sabrina Hatzer stood out by dominating on offense and defense. She finished with a game-high in steals with six and tied teammate Ashley Taylor and San Marino's Kate Scannell for a game-high in goals with four.

"We have so much depth on our team, anyone can step up and score for us," said Hatzer, as Crescenta Valley's Nayiri Kechichian and Stefanie Loporchio each had three goals Tuesday.

Given the opposition, San Marino Coach Mark Barr was pleased with how his squad performed.

"I know how good CV is and for us playing against them, I think we actually executed pretty well," Barr said. "We still had mistakes, but I thought considering who we were playing we played well."

Defense was key to Crescenta Valley controlling the game early, as the Falcons went on a 7-0 run in the first quarter. Hatzer, Loporchio and Taylor each scored three times in the first quarter and CV turned five of San Marino's 11 first-quarter turnovers into goals.

The Titans (2-1) committed 28 turnovers in the game.

San Marino's offense got going in the second quarter, when Kristin Charlton scored the Titans' first goal on a mid-pool shot with 4:05 remaining in the second quarter. The Titans cut their deficit to 11-4 at halftime behind two goals from Charlton and Scannell in the second.

"I thought we moved well today and so we were able to get drives and get people open," Barr said. "We didn't always hit the shots, but we got good looks."

The Falcons clamped back down in the third, holding San Marino to just one goal in the seven-minute span while scoring five of their own to increase the advantage to 16-5. Both teams put up four goals in the final quarter to close the scoring at 20-9.

The match would have been even more lopsided if it wasn't for San Marino goalie Carla Bezjian, who had 11 saves in the contest, including one on a five-meter opportunity.

"[Bezjian] had a lot of solid blocks today," Barr said. "She's been working all summer and in the fall on improving her skill set. She's always had great legs and now she's got a good skill set go with it."

The Falcons split time in the cage between Gabriel Isacson and Maggie Connell, as the two rotated in each quarter. Isacson had 10 saves and Connell added six in the match.

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