The CIF North Coast Section conducted their four CIF Semi-Final games for Girls High School Water Polo, Wednesday November 11, VETERAN’S DAY, at multiple locations. KAI~Sports was able to attend the two games held at Miramonte HS, Moraga, California, but first, in honor of our nation’s vets, here’s a quick image taken of the route between Northern and Southern Cal:
The 6pm contest featured the NCS Division-1 seed #2 Monte Vista (Danville) against the #3 Las Lomas (Walnut Creek). The winner would earn the right to play against thesection #1, San Ramon Valley.
Barreling out of the chute with multiple counters and flowing front court offense, Monte Vista jumped to a 6-3 halftime lead that grew to 12-4 halfway through the fourth quarter. Apparently Monte Vista showed the same full-flowing counter-attacks that allowed them to beat higher ranked opponents Acalanes, Clovis (Central Section, twice), St. Francis (Sac-San Joaquin Section), Soquel (Central Coast Section) and Miramonte (two wins, one loss) this season.
Balanced scoring was the key, with Mustang goals from Juniors Aubrey Milham and Lea Miller (3), Sophomores Lauren Indart (2), Clare Malin and Jolie Trujillo (5), and Freshman Morgan Lewis. Indart and Freshman Goalie Madison Davis had two assists each.
“We’re super excited to be back in the Final,” said Trujillo just after the game. We worked really hard on our 6-on-5 drop D to prep for the Semis, and now we’ll work harder to work to get to set more to get more ejections to work 6-on-5 O.”
“We are coached to anticipate, and we really anticipated well,” commented Lea Miller. “I’m sure we’ll be persistent with our team counters in our next game.”
Per Mustang Head Coach Scott Turner, “We had a great game tonight. We’ll go back to hard work the next two days to prepare for SRV… since we’ve chipped away at their point spread (Ed.note: early season 12-goal differential has been improved to 6 and then 3 of recent), we believe we have a great chance for a win.”
This was confirmed by Las Lomas Knights Assistant Coach, Megan Calderazzo, “If MV pulls out all the stops like they did against us, then they can pull the upset. Our team just had a difficulty tonight in that our top player (Roxy Wheaton) had three (ejections) by the second quarter. We ‘lit a fire’ — and the girls kept motivated to try to ‘get Roxy one more game.’ We rotated Sophomore Ava Johnson to Roxy’s position at set, and she played well.” (Both Ava and Roxy scored at that position.)
As an aside, the NCS showed class in introductions of each of the four competing teams. Since it was really cold on deck, the players remained in the water after warm-ups, but each number/name/class was announced to the cheers and traditional double-clap of the crowd:
The 7:30 pm contest found the home team, D-2 #1 Miramonte versus #4 Marin Catholic (Kentfield). Marin Catholic’s star, cap 5, Natalie Galuszka, was held hostage off the scoreboard by Miramonte’s defense until the fourth quarter, although she did have two assists to go along with her score, her team losing 3-13 against the more physical Matadores.
The Miramonte Matadors, aided by multiple field blocks and Goalkeeper Paige Miller blocks (including a 5-meter penalty shot), were spotted by great depth and the starters — two seniors and four sophomores.
Two of the Sophmores, Carson Broad and Grace Tehaney, were interviewed after the game. “We’re both excited! We’ve really been looking forward to the upcoming Final at Acalanes.” Per Grace, who scored the game-high tally of seven goals and two assists, “We just need to keep doing what we’re doing.” Indeed, she played great. Per Carson, who’s the team’s speedy sprinter but only finished with one assist, “We need to get (and stay) healthy; I’ve been sick and worn out, so I just need to (get well and) have a better game.”
Head Coach Noel Murphy, “I’m really proud of our girls. We beat the Northern Cal #1, San Ramon Valley, 11-8 just three short weeks ago. They’re in D-1, top seed, and we’re cruising in D-2. Since we busted their win streak and earned their only defeat of this season, I feel we’re in the drivers seat to win D-1.” Time will tell…