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'Schil' says game over

Girls' Water Polo

Schilling scores backhand goal with 43 seconds left in second sudden-death OT for Newport Harbor win over Laguna Beach.

January 27, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Scott Smeltzer…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Prior to the second sudden-death overtime, the last voice that could be heard before the sprint was that of Newport Harbor High junior Elissia Schilling.

"Hey, let's pick it up right here," Schilling said, before turning to goalie Cleo Harrington. "Fire up, Clee!"

The frantic game had already gone nine extra minutes. Both teams had to be tired.

Schilling's words provided inspiration to her teammates. Just more than two minutes later, her shot ended the game.

Again.

Schilling scored a backhand goal from set with 43 seconds left in the second sudden-death overtime, giving Newport Harbor a wild 11-10 nonleague victory over Laguna Beach on Friday at Newport Harbor High.

It was her third big moment in the last two weeks. Schilling also scored the winner in overtime against the same Breakers in a Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions quarterfinal Jan. 13. Five days later, she scored the last two goals in a 9-7 victory over Los Alamitos for first place in the Sunset League.

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The word on the tongues of many people on the Newport Harbor pool deck was "clutch."

"'Schil' is totally clutch," junior Carly Christian said. "She's our savior, for sure, the past couple weeks. I'm so proud of her."

Christian wasn't so bad herself. After she scored a counterattack goal midway through the third quarter, she started cramping up. Yet, she was back in there at the start of the fourth, ready to win yet another sprint. Christian, who had a goal and two steals, won all eight sprints in the game.

"It just totally 'spazzed' out on me, my calf," said Christian after noticeably limping out of the locker room. "I didn't let it slow me down, though."

The Sailors (15-4), ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division I coaches' poll, were still slowed down in the second half against No. 6 Laguna Beach (15-5). They could not hold a 6-2 halftime lead.

Harvard-bound senior Yoshi Andersen, who led all scorers with five goals, tied it at 7-7 on a penalty shot midway through the fourth quarter. Newport Harbor took the lead again, as Presley Pender scored off a pass from Maddy McLaren on the power play with 1:48 left. But Laguna also earned a kickout, and Andersen scored again bar-in with a minute left, sending the game into overtime.

Senior Sophie Leveque (two goals) had fouled out for the Sailors. Three other starters — McLaren, Schilling and Pender — all had been excluded twice.

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