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Water Polo

No. 2-ranked Dos Pueblos Gets Lots of Contributions in Win Against No. 3 Mater Dei

Dos Pueblos players defend in front of goalie Anna Cable during Saturday’s game against Mater Dei at the Elings Aquatic Center. Click to view larger
Dos Pueblos players defend in front of goalie Anna Cable during Saturday’s game against Mater Dei at the Elings Aquatic Center. (Peter Neushul photo)

Dos Pueblos received contributions from several players and held off Mater Dei, 6-4, in a battle between the CIF-Southern Section’s No. 2 and 3 girls water polo teams in Division 1 on Saturday at the Elings Aquatic Center.

Chloe Pena, Sabina Shackelford, Thea Neushul, Olivia Kistler and Kayla Peacock all made big plays in the game to help the second-ranked Chargers improve to 10-1 on the season.

“I thought we got contributions from all nine kids and (goalie Anna) Cable, so all 10 kids who played did a really good sticking to the plan and executing as well as we could,” said a pleased DP coach Connor Levoff. “I thought we got better as the game went on too.”

The Chargers came through despite losing standout center Abbi Hill, who fouled out with 1:53 left in the third period.

Brooke Banta of Mater Dei scored off a nice series of passes from Grace Thawley and Bella Baia on a power play to pull the Monarchs to 4-3 at the 1:17 mark of the third period.

Mater Dei then forced a turnover, but Pena made a huge steal on a double team and the Chargers drew an ejection. Shackelford scored off the restart for a 5-3 DP lead.

Mater Dei got one back at the buzzer as Maisie McPherson dropped a lob inside the far post to make it 5-4 going into the final period.

The Chargers struck first in the fourth quarter as Thea Neushul swam on to a lead pass from Peacock and scored. 

DP’s defense then came up big. Goalie Anna Cable made a save, Kistler contained Mater Dei’s Hannah Constandse in a 1-on-1 situation and Pena made a field block during a Monarchs’ power play.

“They did a great job anticipating and recognizing and moving back, something we practice every day,” Levoff said of the team’s play at the defensive end. “It’s nice to see it happen against a good team.”

Mater Dei came on the attack again with 2:16 to go, but Peacock thwarted the Monarchs with a steal.

The Monarchs earned a power play with 49 seconds left and Thawley got off a shot that hit the cross bar. They kept possession and took another shot, but it sailed over the bar.

Levoff was pleased how all of his players performed in the game.

“Everybody is factor, everybody matters in every position whether they play one second or 28 minutes. I think we really took that to heart and played like that today,” he said.

Thea Neushul had two goals, two steals and drew one exclusion to lead DP,  while Shackelford, Pena, Ryann Neushul and Hill each scored one goal. Cable made six saves.

The Chargers play a Channel League road doubleheader on Wednesday, facing Ventura at 3:15 p.m. and Buena at 5 p.m.

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