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Locals capture silver medal

August 26, 2010|By Erich Fischer, Community Correspondent
  • [Laguna's 12-and-under team at National Junior Olympics are: kneeling, left to right, Sophia Lucas, Aria Fischer, Ally Jochim, and Bella Baldridge. Back row, left to right, Katya Cox-Kruger, Angelique Begay, Haley Evans, Maia Borisoff, Holly Parker, Natalie Selin, and Tatum Sandvigen.
[Laguna's 12-and-under team at National Junior… (Coastline Pilot )

The Laguna Beach 12-and-Under girls' water polo team took the silver medal at last week's National Junior Olympic Championships at USC.

In battling through the top 24 teams in the nation in a grueling four-day tournament, the local squad capped an unbelievable run that nearly led to Laguna's second straight national title in two years. The Laguna girls fought their way through some tough, early-round victories and hit their stride in their semifinal match by trouncing perennial power Santa Barbara, 13-4.

In the championship game, the Laguna girls came out flat and found themselves in a deep 5-0 hole late into the second quarter against a highly experienced Commerce team. The crowd on hand — and the opposing team — seemed convinced the championship game was going to be a huge blowout. But right before the halftime buzzer, Laguna Beach scored off a blistering counter attack to bring the halftime score to 5-1.

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Laguna Beach then roared out in the third quarter behind outstanding goalkeeping and outscored Commerce, 3-1, to pull to within 6-4 heading into the final quarter. With a little more than a minute left in the game, Laguna Beach scored off a 6-on-5 advantage to tie the score.

It looked as though this unbelievable and feisty comeback might lead to a shootout to break the deadlock. Unfortunately, the tie was short-lived when Commerce went ahead when scored on an outside shot with approximately 50 seconds remaining. The Laguna girls were unable to answer back with the little time remaining.

"This 12 girls' team was one of the most impressive in all the teams I've had, in that they continued to improve all season, played above their potential, and most importantly showed they have the heart of a champion in their never say die attitude," said Chad Beeler, director of Laguna Beach Age Group Water Polo.

The Laguna Beach 12U girls are: Bella Baldridge, Angelique Begay, Maia Borisoff, Haley Evans, Aria Fischer, Ally Jochim, Katya Cox-Kruger, Sophia Lucas, Holly Parker, Tatum Sandvigen and Natalie Selin.

Laguna Beach Age Group Water Polo teams begin their new season in September.

Andersen has nice run with Team USA

Laguna Beach High School junior Yoshi Andersen recently returned from Florida after competing for the USA Water Polo Women's Junior National Team that won a silver medal at the 2010 UANA Junior Pan American Championships.

Andersen scored four goals in the championship game where Team USA was edged, 8-7, by Canada.

The teams had played to a 9-9 tie earlier in the competition.

Team USA dominated throughout much of the tournament, which included elite teams from Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela.

— From Staff Reports

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