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Breakers boys' polo off to hot start

Laguna Beach wins first two games to open the season, beating Villa Park and Claremont.

September 19, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / Coastline…)

Going into the season, the Laguna Beach High boys' water polo team knew what lay ahead of them in the first week.

An unforgiving early schedule had them facing two ranked opponents right off the bat, then heading north to face more stiff competition.

That's just what Laguna Coach Ethan Damato wants for his team, which is to be tested.

The Breakers opened their season Sept.13 and scored a 13-6 victory over visiting Villa Park. Tuesday at Laguna, they held off Claremont, 10-6.

At 2-0, Laguna, ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, is now in Santa Barbara. First, the Breakers took on Santa Barbara in a nonleague game Thursday (the score wasn't available at press time). They begin play Friday at the third annual Santa Barbara Invitational, which runs through Saturday.

Damato said his team looked "tight" in the opening quarter of their opening game. Villa Park, which started the season ranked sixth in Division 2, was able to take a 3-2 lead after one quarter but the Breakers outscored the Spartans, 5-1, in the second quarter to take a 7-4 lead at the half.

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The Breakers again outscored the Spartans by a 5-1 margin in the third quarter, to open up an 11-5 advantage.

Jack Dodson scored a game-high five goals with six steals for Laguna. Aki Andersen, Jakob Colladay and Trevor Collins (two steals), each scored twice. Cade Baldridge scored once and had three steals.

Garret Hartley had 10 saves.

"I thought we looked nervous and tight in the first quarter," Damato said. "After the first [quarter], we controlled every aspect of the game. Pressed well, played fast and never looked back. Jack Dodson took the game over in the second half and the guys really fed off that energy.

"Overall, I was pleased for the first game of the season. We have a lot of things to work on but that's what we want to find out at this point of the year."

Laguna faced a Claremont team that entered Tuesday's game ranked ninth in Division 2. The Breakers jumped out to a 4-1 lead and led 5-1 at the break, but the Wolfpack outplayed the Breakers in the third quarter and fought back to tie the score.

The teams went into the fourth quarter deadlocked at 6-6. Laguna pulled away by scoring the final four goals of the match.

Andersen, Baldridge and Dodson each scored twice. Hartley had 13 saves.

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