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Irvine defense shuts down Villa Park
IRVINE - Irvine girls water polo coach Scott Hinman had plenty of reasons to smile Wednesday evening.
The Vaqueros got past Villa Park, 7-3, in the opening round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs at the Woollett Aquatics Center and played one of their best games of the year in the process.
The victory sends Irvine (15-13) into the quarterfinals Saturday against top-seeded Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara.
"We had a very solid defense," Hinman said. "Offense starts with defense and we played real good defense. Everybody was turning around looking and knew when to come and help."
Lauren Ton and Tiffany Nguyen led the Vaqueros with two goals each. Goalkeeper Paulina Urbanski had 11 saves.
Irvine moved out to a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter on a goal by Nguyen. Villa Park (17-13) battled back, cutting the lead to 3-2 on goals by Kiana Etrata and Amanda Hicks in the second quarter.
Kimberly Delgadillo countered with a goal for Irvine late in the second quarter to put Irvine ahead, 4-2, at halftime.
Irvine outscored Villa Park, 2-1, in the third quarter then Urbanski and the Vaqueros shut out the Spartans in the final quarter to close out the victory.
Etrata scored two goals to lead Villa Park.