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Breakers roll

February 16, 2012|By Mike Sciacca

LAGUNA BEACH – The Laguna Beach girls' water polo team came into Wednesday's first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs as a solid favorite against Beckman.

Throughout the game, the third-ranked Breakers played the part with relish and, in the end, came away with a 23-9 victory over the visiting Patriots.

The victory sends the Orange Coast League champions on to Saturday's quarterfinals. Laguna will host No. 7-seeded Santa Barbara at 4 p.m. at the Laguna pool, Breakers Coach Ethan Damato said.

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The Dons defeated Edison, 10-3, in a first-round game on Wednesday.

"I thought it was a good win today and I thought we played well offensively," Damato said. "I thought we shared the ball really well and we played great early, especially in the second quarter. But we had some defensive lapses which we can work on.

"It was Senior Day for us and maybe, we were a little emotional out there. But the bottom line, we played a great first half."

Laguna (22-6) never trailed but it took a while for the Breakers to get going. They posted their first goal when Lexie Del Toro scored off a feed from freshman Makenzie Fischer 2:20 into the contest. Senior co-captain Yoshi Andersen came up with a steal a minute later and scored at the other end of the pool to make it 2-0. Forty seconds later, Mackenzie Baldridge gave up an open shot for an unselfish dish to Del Toro who scored for the second time. Before the quarter was up, Fischer scored and Laguna was off and running at 4-0.

The Breakers then took charge. After Beckman's Rachel Emami scored the first of her four goals of the game, Del Toro and Andersen both scored twice to pad the lead to 8-1. Late in the half, Andersen scored on a sweet back-handed shot, Del Toro skipped in a one-bounce shot and Fischer scored off a steal by Del Toro.

Laguna closed out the second quarter, scoring-wise, the way it did the first quarter with the Andersen-Del Toro-Fischer trifecta.

Andersen and Del Toro had five goals by halftime, when the Breakers held an 11-2 advantage.

"We moved the ball around really well and found some good, quality, open shots," Damato said. "I was real pleased with our ball movement in the first half."

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