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Water Polo

Dos Pueblos Water Polo Makes a Statement With So Cal Championship Title

Chargers beat Laguna Beach in title game

The Dos Pueblos girls water polo team celebrates winning the Southern California Championship tournament for the first time since 2011. Click to view larger
The Dos Pueblos girls water polo team celebrates winning the Southern California Championship tournament for the first time since 2011. (Peter Neushul photo)

Dos Pueblos established itself as the favorite in the CIF-SS girls water polo playoffs by beating Laguna Beach, 8-6, for the championship of the Irvine Southern California Championship on Saturday at the Woolett Aquatic Center.

The Chargers got goals from five players against Laguna Beach's Stanford-bound goalie Thea Walsh and their defense contained the Breakers.

Olivia Kistler and Thea Neushul led the defense with four steals apiece, Chloe Pena had two blocks and Abbi Hill had a block and a pair of steals.

On offense, Kistler and Pena each scored two goals and Neushul, Kayla Peacock and Hill added single goals. Hill also drew four exclusions and had an assist. Peacock recorded three assists and Kistler had one. Neushul's goal broke a 6-6 tie in the final period.

The tournament title was DP's first since 2011.

"Our Laguna game was back and forth from the start," DP coach Connor Levoff said. "We were able to put together a 3-0 run to end the game on the back of strong team defense and sound decision making to end up on the right side of the score line."
 

In the semifinals, the Chargers beat Corona del Mar, 11-6.

Hill was a force in the game, scoring five goals, making five steals and earning three exclusions. Ryann Neushul had three goals, three assists and six steals; Kistler recorded three steals and three assists to go with a goal and Thea Neushul and Pena each scored one goal

Dos Pueblos held the Sea Queens to one goal in the first three periods and led 7-3 going into the final quarter.

"We are happy with this weekend’s result but we spoke as a team after the final and recommitted to ending the Channel League season playing consistent, organized water polo," Levoff said. "There are too many strong teams in our league and division to be complacent and stand on our laurels.  We have to keep focused, training hard, and improving at every opportunity we get."

The Division 1 top-ranked Chargers are now 24-1 on the season. They play host to No. 8 San Marcos in a Channel League game on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Thea Neushul goes one-on-one against Laguna Beach’s standout goalie Thea Walsh. Neushul scored to give Dos Pueblos a 7-6 lead. Click to view larger
Thea Neushul goes one-on-one against Laguna Beach’s standout goalie Thea Walsh. Neushul scored to give Dos Pueblos a 7-6 lead. (Peter Neushul photo)
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