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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
El Toro goalie Emily Browning made 15 saves in a victory against Bonita at the Villa Park Classic on Thursday night. The Chargers play The Bishop's of La Jolla in the quarterfinals on Friday night.

El Toro defense overwhelms Bonita

OCVARSITY.COM

El Toro's sixth-ranked girls water polo team is focusing on playing stingy defense, and it's showing.

The Chargers advanced to the quarterfinals of the Villa Park Classic with a 21-3 victory against visiting Bonita of La Verne on Thursday night.

Michigan-bound goalie Emily Browning anchored El Toro (2-1) with 15 saves.

The Chargers, ranked No. 1 in the preseason Division 2 poll, scored the first seven goals and held Bonita (3-1) – ranked No. 1 in Division 4 – scoreless for the first nine minutes.

El Toro opened the 32-team tournament earlier Thursday with a 21-1 victory against Mission Viejo. The Diablos' lone goal came on a penalty shot.

"Our focus this season is defense," Browning said. "Our coach (Brett McCleave) gives us a number of how many we are allowed to let in. If we let in any more, we're in trouble."

El Toro's defense sparked three counterattack-goals in the first half. The Chargers' balanced attack also received two first-half strikes out of 2 meters by Allison Skaggs and timely perimeter strikes from left-hander Jillian Newmyer and Lauren Norheim.

Skaggs, Delaney Riley and Shelby Rascon led 10 players in scoring with three goals apiece.

El Toro will need to play good defense Friday when it meets The Bishop's of La Jolla and Jessica Webster in the quarterfinals. The 5-foot-10 attacker netted eight goals in a 15-8 victory against No. 10 Edison in the other quarterfinal.

El Toro has already been tested in a season-opening, 12–11 loss against No. 3 Foothill.

"It was a lot of 6-on-5 goals from Foothill and counterattacks," Browning said. "We've been working on our 5-on-6 defense. ... (and our field players) have been conditioning a lot swim-wise."

The tournament final is Saturday at El Toro at 3:30 p.m.

Bonita defeated Troy, 8-6, in a first-round game between Division 4 contenders.

In another second round match:

No. 5 Los Alamitos 18, M.L. King 6: Ella Weber and Corinna Toledo each scored five goals to lead the Griffins (4-0) at Villa Park. Los Alamitos plays San Clemente in the quarterfinals Friday.

In another quarterfinal at Huntington Beach, Santiago/Corona plays Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, whuch edged Mater Dei in overtime.

Agoura reached the quarterfinals at El Modena.

In a nonleague match:

No. 9 Rosary 5, Yorba Linda 4: Anastacia Gonzalez scored four goals and Jessica Hermosillo added 10 saves at Fullerton College to lead the Royals, who led, 4-2, going to the fourth period.


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