Laguna Beach's Haley Evans fires off a pass over El Toro's Ashley Riley in girls varsity water polo Friday afternoon.

Laguna Beach looks ready for CIF run


It's easy to ponder the future of Laguna Beach's girls water polo team.

Rising center Makenzie Fischer and attacker Brighid Burnes are sophomores. Freshmen Natalie Selin, Haley Evans and Holly Parker have played major minutes. And the younger sisters of Fischer and Mackenzie Baldridge could arrive on the pool deck next season.

"We're going to be really good for the next couple years," Laguna Beach coach Ethan Damato said. "We're not done this year, though. We want to make a little noise (in CIF)."

Laguna Beach got an early start Friday.

Selin scored a power-play goal on a pass from Lexi Del Toro with 21 seconds left in the fourth to lift visiting No. 6 Laguna Beach past No. 8 El Toro, 6-5, in nonleague match.

Working at center, Fischer drew her fifth exclusion to set up Selin's strike from the right hander's wing.

Evans also scored in the fourth, drilling a cross-cage shot from the left-hander's wing for a brief, 5-4, lead.

Evans assisted Laguna Beach's first goal of the fourth, a power-play strike by Sydney Saxe.

It was an impressive display against an El Toro defense led by Michigan-bound goalie Emily Browning (nine saves). "Some big goals from some freshmen late in that game," Damato said.

Laguna Beach (18-9) also got 12 saves from junior goalie Jenna Knott.

Damato said the Breakers' power-play remains a concern. They went 3 for 9. Delaney Riley and Allison Skaggs each scored twice to lead El Toro (17-9).

In the Century League:

Esperanza 8, El Dorado 6: The host Aztecs (13-15) erupted for six goals in the fourth to rally for the fourth and final automatic playoff berth. Ashley Diaz scored three goals while Erica Anderson and Shiva Djahangiry each added two.

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