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Girls' Water Polo: Breakers dominate Sailors

Newport Harbor falls behind early, suffers worst loss in program history to top-ranked Laguna Beach.

January 24, 2014|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Laguna Beach High girls' water polo coach Ethan Damato is well aware of the numbers.

In his first several years as head or assistant coach of the Breakers, the girls had beaten Newport Harbor just one time. It hurt to Damato, a Laguna Beach alumnus who was a two-time All-CIF player in 1999 and 2000.

"We're tired of losing to Newport," Damato said. "That is a fact, for sure. We talked about it this year with this group of girls; we don't want to lose to the CdMs and Newports anymore. I'm not saying that we never will, but we don't want to. We're tired of that."

Laguna Beach really does not look like it will be losing to anyone the rest of the season.

The Breakers, the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1, did more than just beat the No. 2 Sailors for the third time this season on Friday afternoon.

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It was the way they won the nonleague game and also the final score, 13-1, at the Newport pool. It is the most lopsided loss in Newport Harbor program history.

Laguna junior Makenzie Fischer and her sister Aria, a freshman, each scored four goals as the Breakers (17-1) dominated the Sailors (13-4) in all aspects. Earlier this month the Breakers won both the Holiday Cup and Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions for the first time in program history, defeating Newport in the title match both times.

On Friday, Laguna was simply too strong. When the teams met a week ago in the TOC title game, the Breakers jumped on the Sailors, 6-0, at halftime before Newport cut the lead to three late in the third quarter. This time, the Breakers zoomed to an 8-0 advantage at half but kept their foot on the gas pedal.

"I thought we played well everywhere," Damato said. "I don't think there was an area where we did a bad job, and in every quarter. We had a great first half against them in Santa Barbara, and I thought we could have played better in the second half. Today was four quarters of really good polo ... we did everything we were trying to do. We did a nice job of making it tough for them to defend us."

Aria Fischer scored all of her four goals from center and drew an exclusion and five-meter penalty shot. Makenzie Fischer added four assists, three steals and drew three exclusions herself.

Makenzie knows what it's like to lose to Newport Harbor. Her freshman year, Laguna lost to Newport Harbor four times. Included in that tally were three overtime games, including a 7-6 Division 1 semifinal match that the Sailors won on their way to the CIF title.

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