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PHOTO COURTESY OF GARDEN GROVE WATER POLO; TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
Garden Grove rallied to beat Los Amigos, 11-10, in double-sudden death overtime on Tuesday.

Garden Grove gets revenge by beating Los Amigos

OCVARSITY.COM

Garden Grove's girls water polo team had waited just over one year for the chance to beat rival Los Amigos.

The Argonauts then endured a marathon challenge against the Lobos to claim their victory Tuesday.

Junior Amber Labra scored on a cross-cage, perimeter shot with 17 seconds left in the second sudden-death overtime to lift host Garden Grove past the defending Garden Grove League champion Lobos, 11-10, in a CIF-SS Division 6 showdown.

Last season, Los Amigos snapped Garden Grove's streak of nine consecutive league titles and 47 consecutive league victories.

"Since the loss, we've been really waiting for this game," Labra said. "It really feels amazing."

Labra scored from about 5 meters on a pass from the corner by Hannah Caskey. The first-year varsity player also scored with 38 seconds in the fourth period to tie the score, 10-10, and force overtime.

Garden Grove goalie Elizabeth Lehman, another first-year starter, racked up 20 saves as the Argonauts (9-8, 2-0) held Los Amigos (13-8, 1-1) scoreless after halftime.

The Lobos, last season's Division 7 runner-up, led, 10-6, at halftime and, 10-7, with less than three minutes left in regulation.

"It's unforgettable," Lehman said of the rally. "We wanted to get our title back."

Said Garden Grove coach Eric Henninger of the rally: "I think a big part of it has to be nerves. I think we came into the game and they were a little antsy, a little nervous. Once we calmed down, realized what we needed to do, especially after giving up 10 goals in the first half, everyone was able to take a moment and kind of realize that they needed to calm down."

Garden Grove scored three goals in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the fourth, including a goal from center by Caskey (game-high four goals) and a counterattack by Shannon Kolb with 1:13 left after a save by Lehman.

Sarah Guillen scored three goals to lead the Lobos. Diane Ho added 11 saves and five steals.

Los Amigos netted six goals in the second period, including four on perimeter shots.

"We just couldn't hold them," Los Amigos coach Manny Lepe said. "I think we should have won that game but the score tells who won."

In the Sea View League:

Tesoro 7, Aliso Niguel 6 (OT): Stassia McGlothlin scored with five seconds left in overtime to lift the host Titans (11-5, 4-0) past the Wolverines (12-9, 2-1) in a key Division 4 clash. Amy Jensen paced Tesoro with 16 saves while Aliso Niguel goalie Anastazia Virgin made 23.


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