Newport outlasts Stanford

USA Water Polo Junior Olympics

NWPF girls reach platinum division after tough test. Friday's schedule includes matchup vs. Wilkey.

August 04, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

IRVINE — Carly Christian made a back-door cut, like a basketball player going up for an alley-oop.

Maddy McLaren found Christian with a precise cross-pool pass and Christian put the shot away. Eighteen seconds into the game, the Newport Water Polo Foundation 18-and-under girls had the lead.

A fast start was going to be important against a tough opponent, Stanford Red, at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics. Newport made sure it stood up, holding on for a 9-5 victory in its second pool-play game Thursday afternoon at Beckman High.

Tenth-seeded Newport, consisting solely of Newport Harbor High players, advanced to the platinum bracket, assuring itself a place in the top 24. Newport plays the seventh-seeded San Diego Shores "A" team Friday at 8 a.m. at Santa Margarita High. Then, Newport will play second-seeded Huntington Beach Water Polo Blue — featuring former Newport Harbor goalie Sarah Wilkey — at 11 a.m. at Santa Margarita.


Stanford was a tough challenge as well, but Newport never trailed after Christian's initial goal. Christian, who will be a junior, went on to score four goals and added three steals.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said incoming Newport senior captain Presley Pender, who had a goal and two steals. "This was the first time we matched up this summer, but we obviously know they're strong, they're aggressive. Our philosophy was just to come out hard right from the start. The first quarter, when we scored on our first possession, that was huge. The main reason why we did so well was because we were so fired up right from the beginning."

NWPF took a 3-1 lead after the first quarter. Three times Stanford Red drew within a single goal, the last time coming on Pippa Temple's penalty shot late in the third quarter. But Newport's Avery Peterson answered, beating a drawn-out goalie to make the score 6-4, Newport, with 1:27 left in the quarter.

Stanford Red's Olivia Santiago scored from the perimeter but Christian answered, skipping in a shot from about seven meters. The outside shooting helped Newport after Stanford started dropping on Newport two-meter player Elissia Schilling late in the game.

Newport held Stanford Red scoreless in the final quarter, earning what Coach Bill Barnett said was a "meaningful" victory.

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