Young Rebels fall again to Lancers

PASADENA — There was little room for error when the Flintridge Prep girls' water polo team took on La Salle on Wednesday afternoon after the Lancers enjoyed an eight-goal margin of victory the last time the two teams met.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, turnovers and a failure to capitalize on offensive advantages plagued the team in the Prep League match, as they fell to La Salle, 12-3, at Caltech.

"We just have young players and there's a delay because they don't know what to do with the ball," Prep Coach Ryan Goto said. "It pretty much came down to experience today.

"At most, we have girls who have been playing for three years. They have girls that have been playing six years nonstop."

The Lancers cashed in three of their first four goals off Prep turnovers and scored the game's first six goals. The Rebels' offense not only had 21 giveaways, but also only managed to score on two of their seven man advantages in the game.

"We just really got confused on our six-on-fives today and really just didn't capitalize on those opportunities," Goto said.

La Salle's quick offense, on the other hand, posed problems for a smaller Prep (6-7, 3-7 in league) squad on transition and down low. Ellie Rae Hoffman posted a match-high six goals and Missy McCreary added four goals for the Lancers (13-10, 4-5).

"We needed them to [dominate]," La Salle Coach Nicole Maichrowicz said. "Our leading scorer [Claire Barmann] was out sick today, so we needed to rely on them more for offense and they came through."

Hoffman and McCreary did so by combining for La Salle's first 10 goals. It was a change of pace for Hoffman, who's been focusing primarily on defense this year.

The Lancers got on the board less than a minute into the contest when Hoffman buried a transition goal off a turnover and long assist from La Salle goalkeeper Marisol Dekan. McCreary scored a minute later off another Prep turnover and Hoffman replicated her first goal off another Dekan assist with two seconds left in the first quarter to give the Lancers a 3-0 lead.

Prep wouldn't get on the board until the 4:42 mark of the third quarter when Suzanna Tan scored on a breakaway. Her shot went off the post, off Dekan's back and finally into the cage to cut the Rebels' deficit to 6-1.

Hoffman put the game completely out of doubt when she capped a three-goal run for the Lancers, scoring off a Prep turnover a minute into the final quarter to push La Salle's advantage to 9-1.

Prep's Arin Phillips brought the score to 9-2 when she scored on a man advantage with 5:10 remaining. Tan notched the Rebels' final goal off a six-on-four opportunity with 2:10 left to cut the lead down to 11-3.

Tan was a bright spot for Prep, finishing with two goals and a team-high four steals. Sarah Yoho also stood out for the Rebels, finishing with seven saves and three steals.

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