Flintridge Sacred Heart polo not discouraged after loss to Louisville

LA CAÑADA — Carlos Ponce wasn't discouraged after the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy water polo team suffered its second consecutive Mission League defeat Thursday.

What left the Flintridge Sacred Heart coach frustrated was that the Tologs hit the post or crossbar six times in the first half in a home match against Louisville. Still, there's no reason for Ponce to sound the alarm.

"There's a lot we came take from this game," Ponce said after Flintridge Sacred heart suffered a 6-2 defeat. "There's been no quit from this team and they just keep on shooting.

"We had some unlucky breaks go our way with hitting all of those posts, but I liked the way were able to stay after it."

Flintridge Sacred Heart dropped to 8-10, 1-2 in league.

The Tologs suffered a 16-6 league road loss against powerhouse Harvard-Westlake, ranked second in the latest CIF Southern Section Division III poll, on Tuesday. Louisville, which scored four second-quarter goals to break the match open, improved to 3-0 in league.

Flintridge Sacred Heart received one goal apiece from Mary Farley and Maddy Dulcich. Louisville got a match-best three goals from Jill Gaines, two from Jessica Lawler and one from Kristi Alongi to grab the upper hand against the Tologs in the first of two head-to-head matchups. The teams will meet again Feb. 6 at L.A. Pierce College.

"We are still confident we can give [Louisville] another good battle the next time we play them," said Ponce, who took over the program last season. "Louisville made some quick adjustments in the second quarter and we weren't quick enough to react."

Following a scoreless first quarter, one in which the Tologs had several shots ricochet of the post, Farley gave Flintridge Sacred Heart a 1-0 lead with 6:08 remaining in the second quarter. The Royals then scored four unanswered goals in a little more than four minutes to build a 4-1 halftime advantage.

Gaines knotted the score at 1 on a 5-meter shot with 5:15 left. Gaines then made it 2-1 with 4:34 remaining in the first half before completing her natural hat trick with 1:51 to go. Alongi closed out the first-half scoring with 1:03 remaining.

"They counter-attacked well against us and they wound up getting three of their goals of counter-attacks in the second quarter," Ponce said.

Farley said Flintridge Sacred Heart can regroup from the setback.

"I thought we actually played pretty good and we did have a lot of shots," Farley said. "We have confidence and we know we are a good team."

Dulcich sliced the deficit to 4-2 with 5:45 left in the third quarter. However, Lawler restored Louisville's three-goal advantage about three minutes later.

Lawler closed out the scoring with 3:43 left in the fourth quarter.

Flintridge Sacred Heart goalkeeper Elizabeth Hinckley finished with seven saves. Louisville goalkeeper Tera Oxley registered 13 saves, including seven in the second half.


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