LA CAÑADA — A loss is a loss.
But in defeat, a team going in the right direction can sometimes find silver linings in the clouds of gray.
The La Cañada High girls' water polo team fell to San Marino, 8-4, at home in a Rio Hondo League match Thursday, but the game was closer than the final score indicated.
Not to mention, the match against the Titans came two days after the Spartans suffered a 22-2 league defeat against South Pasadena.
"Coming back from a 22-2 loss, how we lost to South Pas, it's hard to want to play the next day," Spartans Coach Dave Brown said. "I'd be discouraged. I'm proud of my girls, they stepped it up, they got back in and they fought."
San Marino grabbed a 2-0 lead after one quarter, but La Cañada played its opponent evenly for the next two quarters. After the Titans made it 3-0, Spartans' Lindsay Coss connected on a goal with 3:17 left in the second. San Marino would hold the 3-1 lead until the fourth quarter.
"The first quarter is always a rough one," Brown said. "When you get down from there, it's always hard to come back up."
It's the fourth period when the Spartans began to struggle. The Titans scored three unanswered goals to open the frame and take a 6-1 lead. However, La Cañada outscored San Marino, 3-2, down the stretch with goals from Miranda Mora, Heather Connolly and Paige Rivett.
"Our girls…started to ease up on them," Brown said. "You try to never back down on someone who's up on you. We had it the whole game. They didn't score on us in the third quarter."
Brown was happy with how the defense played, but the Spartans struggled to find any rhythm offensively.
"We haven't found our offense besides getting our counters and trying to get lucky shots off of them," Brown said. "Our offense is getting there little by little. It'll come."
In addition to Mora battling sore shoulders, Coss said that the team has suffered from a problem on offense.
"I think we have a hard time communicating with each other," Coss said. "Communication is big."
Charlotte Leis, in her first season playing goalkeeper, had 15 blocks for La Cañada (6-7, 0-2 in league).
Coss, a senior, knows that it'll take time for the team to get on the right track and hopefully make a push for a league title and a trip to the playoffs.
"I think it will take time," Coss said. "It takes time. Not in one year it's going to turn around. Maybe if we do go [to the playoffs] this year, then that would be awesome."