CIF girls water polo: San Marcos-Orange Lutheran semifinal preview

February 23rd, 2016, 2:23 pm ·

· posted by DAN ALBANO

Wednesday’s CIF girls water polo semifinals



Site, time: William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center, 5 p.m.

Outlook: The second-seeded Lancers and No. 3 Royals are in the Division 1 semifinals for the first time, so the winner will achieve another major milestone with their first trip to the finals.

San Marcos is the No. 3 seed but beat Orange Lutheran in the teams’ lone meeting, the finals of the early-season Villa Park Classic at El Toro. San Marcos won, 10-9. The Lancers then finished third at the Holiday Cup before breaking through at the Santa Barbara TOC. Orange Lutheran won the tournament for the first time and hasn’t lost since. The Lancers have won 15 consecutive games, including an impressive 14-5 victory at Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals Saturday. San Marcos swept Santa Barbara, 13-4, and, 9-8, en route to a third consecutive Channel League title.

Two-time defending Trinity League champion Orange Lutheran has excelled with a press defense and opportunistic offense. Like Laguna Beach, the Lancers don’t feature a dominant center but create scoring opportunities with their defense and counterattack. Attacker Emma Skelly leads the Lancers with 87 goals while Kelsey Tyler is a key 2-meter defender as well as a diverse offensive threat (92 assists, 74 goals). Freshman Alyssa Barnuevo has been solid in cage with 150 saves.

San Marcos is led by U.S. national team attacker Paige Hauschild (76 goals) and emerging sophomore goalie Sophie Trumbull. The Royals lost twice to Laguna Beach and once to Foothill.

Both teams feature strong supporting casts. The squads also been debated in the polls. There was speculation that San Marcos could have jumped to No. 1 in Division 1 had it beat Laguna Beach in the finals of the recent SoCal tournament. The Lancers were No. 1 after winning in Santa Barbara but were passed by Laguna Beach. San Marcos and Orange Lutheran also were debated for the No. 2 seed in Division 1.

Twitter Poll: Pick the San Marcos-Orange Lutheran winner


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