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Mission Viejo continues its run of dominating efforts

STAFF WRITER

Mission Viejo’s season-long quest to reach its first CIF-SS final in girls water polo continued to build momentum Tuesday.

The Diablos used a hard press and a combined 10 goals from Megan Wright, Megan Patterson and Skylar Newhouser-Flores to defeat visiting Laguna Hills, 15-4, and stay undefeated in the Sea View League.

Mission Viejo (18-4, 3-0) has posted three consecutive lopsided victories against CIF-ranked opponents. The Diablos, ranked second in Division 4, beat Division 2 contender St. Lucy’s of Glendora, 13-5, on Saturday and Division 4-ranked Trabuco Hills, 18-3, in a Sea View League game last week. Laguna Hills is ranked 10th in Division 4.

“I’m really happy where we’re at,” Mission Viejo coach Jeff Rach said. “It all started clicking last week.”

The Diablos used its press defense to force eight turnovers by Laguna Hills in the opening period, leading to three counterattack goals and sparking an 11-0 lead at halftime.

The Diablos assigned Patterson to standout Bailey Lloyd (one goal, one assist) and also received strong 2-meter defense from Madison Lorenz and solid goalie play from Tiffany Sims (five saves).

“Any girl we think could possibly beat us, we have (Patterson and Lorenz) guard them and that just helps us so much,” said Newhouser-Flores, who chipped in a team-leading five steals.

Lorenz had four steals and Patterson added three.

“(Lorenz) is a lockdown center-defender for us,” Rach said. “And (Patterson) can guard anybody.”

Wright paced the offense with four goals, and Patterson and Newhouser-Flores each added three. Center Emilee Feilmeier added two goals.

Laguna Hills played without starting goalie Tatum Stein (sick) but got eight saves from Lizbeth Ruvalcaba, usually a field player.

Mission Viejo still needs to navigate another round of league games and faces challenging nonleague games against Ayala (Division 4) and Santa Margarita (Division 1). The Diablos hope the trek eventually ends in the CIF final.

“That’s our No. 1 thing,” Newhouser-Flores said.

Center Isabella Boccia scored twice from 2 meters in the second half for Laguna Hills (2-2 in league).

In the Trinity League:

No. 1 Orange Lutheran 14, Rosary 5: Freshman Hannah Palmer scored six goals, and Kelsey Tyler had six assists to lead the Lancers (17-3, 1-0) at Servite.

No. 5 Mater Dei 16, JSerra 5: Kayla Constandse had six goals and three steals to lead the host Monarchs (11-5, 1-0).

In nonleague:

Cypress 11, La Mirada 4: Lindsey Mizrahi and Sarah Smith each scored four goals for the host Centurions, ranked seventh in Division 6.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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