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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM/SCNG
Abbi Hill of Dos Pueblos blocks a shot in the field by Myna Simmons of Orange Lutheran (11) during the second period of the teams CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinal at Santiago Canyon College on Saturday. Dos Pueblos won, 13-10, to reach the semifinals against Laguna Beach.

Mater Dei rallies, pulls out victory over Foothill in OT

STAFF WRITER

Mater Dei’s girls water polo team navigated a long and arduous course Saturday but reached its first CIF-SS Division 1 semifinal.

Sophomore Hannah Constandse scored with 1:05 left in the first sudden-death period to rally the second-seeded Monarchs past No. 7 Foothill, 9-8, in a quarterfinal at Mater Dei.

The Monarchs (24-5) play No. 3 seed San Marcos, an 11-4 winner against Corona del Mar, in the semifinals Wednesday at the Woollett Aquatics Center.

Foothill (18-11) led, 6-2, at halftime but the Monarchs recovered. The teams were tied, 7-7, at the end of regulation.

Constandse’s winner was her lone goal. Fellow lefty Grace Thawley paced Mater Dei with five goals. Foothill goalie Molly DiLalla was tough to beat, racking up 15 saves. Delaney Binette netted four goals for Foothill.

Also in Division 1:

San Marcos 11, Corona del Mar 4: Paige Hauschild scored seven goals and added four steals at Santa Barbara to lead the Royals (25-5) past the Sea Kings (20-9) for the sixth consecutive time. San Marcos went 2-0 against Corona del Mar this season and 4-0 last season.

Dos Pueblos of Goleta 13, Orange Lutheran 10: Abbi Hill sparked the visiting Chargers early and Ryann Neushul closed the victory at Santiago Canyon College.

Neushul scored four of her game-high five goals in the second half as No. 4 Dos Pueblos eliminated the defending champion Lancers (22-7).

The Chargers will appear in the semifinals for the first time since 2011 when it plays No. 1 Laguna Beach on Wednesday at Woollett.

Hill scored three first-half goals and recorded a key field block and steal in the second period to help the Chargers (22-7) build a lead.

Dos Pueblos scored the first three goals of the second to open a 7-3 lead and never allowed Orange Lutheran to get closer than two goals.

“Neushul was unguardable today,” Orange Lutheran coach Steve Carrera said. “They’re loaded with talent. … You can’t win them all.”

Neushul scored her fifth goal to give Dos Pueblos a 13-9 lead with 2:25 left in the fourth. The junior beat one-on-one coverage with a lob shot at center as the Lancers sent multiple players to offense early.

Senior Mollie Simmons scored four goals for the Lancers while her sister, Myna, scored twice and drew seven exclusions.

Mollie Simmons scored on a counterattack with 3:22 left in the third to trim Dos Pueblos' lead to 9-7. But about a minute later, Hill drew an exclusion and then a penalty for interference. Neushul fired in the penalty shot to make it 10-7.

The Lancers almost trimmed the score to 10-8 later in the third but missed a 6-on-4 power-play chance with 1:42 after a near-goal was waved off. Neushul capped the third with a counterattack strike with 20 seconds left to extended the lead to 11-7.

Dos Pueblos also closed the second period strong thanks to Hill. Hill protected a 7-5 lead with by stopping a counterattack near mid-pool with a steak and drawn exclusion, leading to a power-play goal by Jewel Roemer with 40 seconds left in the half.

"They're big-time players," Dos Pueblos coach Connor Levoff said of Hill and Neushul, who along with Roemer, played for the U.S youth team at the recent FINA World Championships.

"We got a few more goals than we were anticipating. We had kind of an explosion. ... We've had some finishing issues."  

UC Irvine-bound Toni Shackelford added two goals for Dos Pueblos while Amelia Meckelborg came off the bench to play key defense. "This is her best game of her high school career," Levoff said of Meckelborg.

Laguna Beach 10, Los Alamitos 4: Aria Fischer had five goals, five assists and four steals at the outdoor pool at Belmont Plaza to lead the top-seeded Breakers (29-0). Bella Baldridge added two goals and four assists. Madison Ravelo scored twice for the Griffins, who trailed, 5-3, at halftime and, 7-4, after three periods.

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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