Orange Lutheran falls short in bid for Villa Park Classic title


LAKE FOREST – The CIF rankings and tournament seeding forecast a close match between Orange Lutheran and San Marcos’ girls water polo teams Saturday in the final of the Villa Park Classic.

But the presence of a few notable scouts at El Toro for the match seemed to suggest an added notion: Orange Lutheran and San Marcos could be major Division 1 contenders.

The teams lived up to the billing.

With Coach Ethan Damato of two-time defending Division 1 champion Laguna Beach logging video, San Marcos used a power-play save by sophomore goalie Sophie Trumbull just before the final buzzer to hold off Orange Lutheran, 10-9, to capture the early-season 32-team tournament for the first time.

Top-seeded Orange Lutheran (6-1) took its final possession with 19 seconds left after second-seeded San Marcos (6-0) ran clock and dumped the ball. The Lancers’ Kelsey Tyler drew an exclusion at center with just a few seconds left and quickly received a pass but Trumbull knocked down the hard shot by the USC-bound senior.

San Marcos, ranked third in Division 1, snapped a 9-9 tie with 5:36 left on a strike at center by Brittany Prentice. That was the sixth and final tie of the game.

Prentice’s winning shot and Trumbull’s three fourth-period saves helped San Marcos rally from a 4-1 deficit midway through the opening period.

Emma Skelly paced Orange Lutheran, ranked second to Laguna Beach in Division 1, with three goals while Tyler and Myna Simmons each added two.

Simmons rose high for a catch-and-shoot goal on the power play to tie the score, 9-9, about a minute into the fourth.

Freshman Alyssa Barnuevo made five of her six saves in the second half for the Lancers while freshman Hannah Palmer added five steals.

Prentice finished with three goals while U.S. national team player Paige Hauschild had two goals and four steals.

In the fifth-place game:

El Toro 11, Los Alamitos 8: Madison Parenteau scored five goals and Dana Acquah-Asare added four to lead the Chargers (4-1), who earlier edged Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga, 9-8.

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