Thu, Jan 27 2011 02:43 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Bonita Vista Barons and Otay Ranch Mustangs shared last year's Mesa League girls water polo championship title but after the conclusion of the first round of league play this season, the Mustangs appear to be in the proverbial driver’s seat with a 3-0 record.
The Mustangs topped the Barons, 13-3, in a game played Jan. 20 at the Loma Verde pool to reach the midpoint of league play. While the result had Otay Ranch coach Ernie Medina beaming, he was far from claiming the banner at this still early juncture of the 2010-11 season.
“We prepare for one game at a time,” he said. “All the teams (in our league) are pretty good this season.”
The Mustangs lost the coin-flip tiebreaker last season with the Barons for the league’s automatic playoff berth. Behind seven goals and four steals by Kelsey Eaton and three goals and six steals by Sarah Medina, Otay Ranch made a statement in the teams’ first league meeting this season.
The win raised the Mustangs’ overall record to 12-2.
Mariela Rodriguez chipped in with two goals and seven steals while Audrey Py had one goal and one steal. Sara Gagarin and Tori Kelly each contributed two assists while Bri Patricio made 16 goalie saves.
Lauren Broyles, Kelly Yamagata and Sofia Fialko each scored one goal for Bonita Vista.
Otay Ranch defeated Eastlake, 9-4, and Chula Vista, 5-4, in other first-round Mesa League match-ups.
The Mustangs built on their perfect league mark by placing ninth in this year's finals of the East County Invitational, played Jan. 22. Otay Ranch finished 4-1 in the 20-team tourney, defeating El Camino, 9-4, in the ninth place game.
Medina led the Mustangs with four goals and five steals while Eaton scored three goals and added one assist. Py had two goals and four steals while Kelly had one goal and two steals. Rodriguez was a force on defense with five steals while Gagarin collected three steals and Patricio made 10 saves.
Otay Ranch also defeated La Jolla Country Day, 5-2, in the final round of tournament play. Eaton had three goals and four steals while Kelly scored two goals and Rodriguez had one goals and five steals. Medina made five steals while Patricio was credited with eight goalie saves.
Patrick Henry captured the tourney title with a 5-0 record, followed by Point Loma, which finished 4-1 in the tournament. El Capitan claimed third place, also with a 4-1 tourney mark.
Medina earned first team all-tournament honors while Eaton was named the the all-tournament second team.
South Bay League
Mar Vista improved to 11-4 on the season with an 18-10 non-league victory against visiting Mira Mesa on Jan. 21. Ariana Trammel paced the Mariners with a blockbuster showing that included 10 goals, three assists and seven steals. Riki Miguel, Ashlee Stevens and Justine Pasa each scored two goals for MV.
The Mariners entered the week sporting a 2-0 South Bay League record following decisive victories against Hilltop (18-6 on Jan. 13) and Southwest (16-3 on Jan. 20). Trammel notched 13 goals in the win over Hilltop.
Castle Park entered the week 2-1 in SBL play following a pair of victories against Southwest (31-8 on Jan. 11 and 27-5 on Jan. 13) and a loss to Hilltop (19-8 on Jan. 20). Maritza Perez (11 goals, six assists) and Taylor Ryan (11 goals, one assist) keyed the Trojans in the Jan. 11 match-up against the Raiders while Ryan collected nine goals and one assist in the Jan. 13 win over Southwest. Celina Amador led CP in scoring in the latter game with two goals and 11 assists.
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