Some players wondered if Barnett, 69, would jump in the pool after the game.
"I shouldn't have," Barnett said. "But I had to, since my assistant coach [Brian Melstrom] did."
He was happy to do so, after the Sailors completed their stunning comeback when sophomore goalie Cleo Harrington stole an entry pass into two meters in the closing seconds. Newport Harbor had trailed, 6-4, going into the fourth quarter.
"We were nervous that someone was going to tackle him in and just fully hurt him," McLaren said. "But it all worked out for the best. He was definitely a team player."
Talk about team players. Just in the fourth quarter, there were so many heroes for the Sailors (27-4), who ended the year on a 16-match winning streak. They wouldn't be denied in the fifth Battle of the Bay meeting of the season.
McLaren started it off with a skip shot from five meters, bringing the Sailors within a goal just 15 seconds into the quarter. Then it was senior captain Presley Pender, who buried a shot from five meters into the left corner to knot the score at 6-6 with 5:53 left.
"I knew they were going to drop on me from [the] four [spot]," Pender said. "I just knew I needed to put my shots away. We watched so much film on Alex [Musselman], and exactly where to shoot. Literally, in my head, I was just like, 'Corners! Corners!'"
Then it was the turn of sophomore goalie Cleo Harrington to come up huge. After making a save, she fired a perfect counterattack ball to Carly Christian, who earned a five-meter penalty shot. McLaren converted it, giving Newport a 7-6 advantage with 3:39 left.
"That was such a beautiful pass," Christian said. "Perfect. Right into the hand. Frickin' beautiful."