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Huntington Beach stifles Mater Dei in quarterfinals

STAFF WRITER

Huntington Beach’s boys water polo team delivered a masterful defensive effort to extend its postseason streak Saturday and end an impressive one by Mater Dei.

The third-seeded Oilers held the host Monarchs to a 1-for-13 tally on the power play and received 14 blocks from UCLA-committed goalie Patrick Saunders en route to an 11-5 victory in a CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinal match.

Huntington Beach (23-3) advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive season and will face No. 2-seeded Harvard-Westlake of Studio City on Wednesday.

“We’re halfway there (to our goal),” said Huntington Beach’s Jake Cavano, who scored a match-high four goals and blocked a power-play shot in the third period with Mater Dei on a 6-on-4 advantage. “It’s good to get that (quarterfinal) under our belt. It gives us confidence for the next game but it’s not over.”

Huntington Beach’s defense surfaced quick as its held defending Division 1 champion Mater Dei (22-8), seeking a 10th consecutive appearance in a CIF final, scoreless for the first 11:37 of the opening half. The Oilers raced to a 5-0 lead.

The Sunset League champion led, 8-2, at halftime with its only sour note the loss of high-scoring left-handed attacker Curtis Jarvis to a misconduct for taunting after one of his goals.

The senior will not be able to play in the semifinals.

“It’s hard,” Huntington Beach coach Sasa Branisavljevic said of the loss of Jarvis, who scored three first-half goals. “He’s one of our top scorers.”

The Oilers highlighted the second half by stopping a 6-on-4 chance by Mater Dei early in the third. With Saunders and Matt Robert excluded, Cavano helped cover the goal with Ryan Hurst and blocked a shot off his chin and chest to protect an 8-2 lead.

“We were really pumped after that,” Cavano said. “It basically sealed the deal for me. After we stopped them without a goalie, you can stop them the rest of the game.”

Quinten Osborne drew an exclusion and scored on the power play after Cavano’s block to extend the Oilers’ advantage to 9-2. The Oilers finished 4 for 8 with the extra attacker.

The Monarchs’ streak of CIF finals appearances started in 2007 and featured six CIF titles.

“It’s going to be weird not going to Woollett (for finals),” said Mater Dei coach Chris Segesman, who will graduate one senior starter, Christian Hockenbury. “We’ve got to learn from how Huntington Beach played today. They took care of business. … We’ll be back there.”

In other Division 1 games:

Harvard-Westlake 7, Foothill 3: Nolan Ortega scored twice to lead the visiting Knights (23-6) against the Wolverines, who played without center Felix Brozyna-Vilim (knee).

Orange Lutheran 15, Corona del Mar 10: Hannes Daube scored four goals and Ash Molthen and Josh Orrick each added three to lead the No. 4 seeded Lancers (24-3) at Santiago Canyon College.

Loyola 12, Newport Harbor 11: The host Sailors (20-9) had a potential tying-goal against the top-seeded Cubs waved off with 1:23 left in the fourth and didn’t convert on the replay of the power-play sequence that involved a desk error, Sailors coach Ross Sinclair said.

"Tough break," Sinclair said of the sequence. "I don't know if that's the game, though, right there. There's a lot of moments throughout the game. ... I thought we played really, really well."

Marko Vavic of Loyola scored the winning goal with 1:58 on a sweep shot from center. The senior forced a ball-under call against Newport Harbor in the back court seconds earlier to set up the scoring chance. Vavic and lefty Miles O'Brien-Schridde each scored four goals.

The Cubs went 4 for 7 on the power-play and made a penalty. Newport Harbor went 3 for 5.

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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