El Segundo: The Santa Monica High School Vikings Girls Water Polo Team captured its fourth in a row Ocean League Championship this week with a win on Tuesday against Culver City and a win Thursday against El Segundo Eagles. The early win clinched a share of the title, with the latter locking an unblemished 8-0 Ocean League Season.
The Vikings dominated the Eagles, with multi-goal scorers in Seniors Alissa Hattori (3), Audrey Hattori (2), Kalen Leyman (2), Shanna Stevenson (3), and Sophomore Lauren Guidrey (3). The Eagles could only manage one goal by Sophomore Maya Weiss, which was the only shot that fooled Samo Senior Goaltender Amalie Leung, off of a long shot deflection of a field block. Leung had a dozen saves, and leading the field blockers were the Hattori twins with two each. Assist leader was Guidry, followed by Hattori’s two each, coupled with two steals each — nice to have all the pairs working together!
Editor’s Note, post-season: Samohi also dominated their CIF-SS First Round opponent, Vista Murrieta, 15-8, only to come up against a scoring ‘wall’ in the Quarterfinals and lose against Martin Luther King, 3-6.
King field blockers deflected or forced wild shots by Samo all over the place in the first half, jumping to a 4-1 lead before Samo could scratch back to 3-4 deficit on a buzzer beating outside shot to the upper corner by Audrey Hattori — which would prove to be the last shot to get by MLK’s stellar Goalkeeper, Senior Hannah McCarley.
In the second half, Santa Monica drew countless extra player opportunities only to be blocked away by McCarley, the player of the match. Even though McCarley made one desperation major against the Viking driver, Lauren Guidry, she was still able to rise up big-time and block the penalty shot.
Yours truly was able to interview Ms McCarley following the game (and Head Coach Casey Greenawalt’s recap/pep talk for next round)… “We were excited to be here, and fired up to push back!” she exclaimed, “but I don’t feel we played up to potential in the first half.”
When asked about the pre-game hype about two opposing CIF Champions locking up in a different division from last year, “We’ve never seen (Santa Monica) before, so we came to defend and knock down shots.” I sense they hit their defensive potential in the second half. Good luck in the D2 Final Four, I said.
“We don’t know our opponent yet, but we’re super excited to be in the final round.”
Images from kemp’s iPhone.