Search:
DREW A. KELLEY, FOR THE REGISTER
Yorba Linda players celebrate after winning the CIF-Ss Division 6 final in girls water polo on Saturday morning in Irvine.

Yorba Linda on target in title-game victory

OCVARSITY.COM

IRVINE – Yorba Linda knew it needed near-perfect shots to beat Pacifica standout goalie Melissa Thorn in Saturday's CIF-SS Division6 girls water polo final.

"Especially in a game this big," Yorba Linda coach Jeff Gorman said. "I knew she (Thorn) was going to come up big."

Thorn was indeed sharp, but the Mustangs' shooters answered the challenge.

Senior Jessica Castellano scored twice on shots into the upper-right corner and her freshman sister, Amy, added one into the upper-left corner as Yorba Linda claimed its first section title with a 5-2 victory against its Empire League rival at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.

"My sister and I played softball for 10 years, so we were hoping that helped with the shots," Jessica Castellano said.

Top-seeded Yorba Linda (21-4) also used its movement on offense to score. Taylor Leach scored in the first period on a drive to 2 meters for a close-range shot. Taylor Best provided the assist, then scored on a drive herself in the third period to give Yorba Linda a 3-0 lead.

The Mustangs led, 4-0, before Pacifica's Caroline Thorn scored on a counterattack with 1:45 left in the third after a save by her sister, Melissa.

But that was the only counterattack strike for the Mariners (20-11), a major feat for the Mustangs defense.

"I think we played an excellent defensive game," Jessica Castellano said. "When we played them in league (and won, 15-9), they started coming back at the end. ... We shut them down today."

Thorn finished with 14saves, including one against a third-period penalty shot, but Mustangs first-year goalie Rebecca Stephenson matched her with 14 saves.

The junior had six in the fourth but highlighted her match by blocking a lob on a counterattack late in the first.

Yorba Linda used the victory to signal its emergence on the county scene.

The third-year varsity program started only two seniors.

"The future is very bright," Gorman said.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


See archived 'Sports' stories »
 


SoCal Prep Legends
Search Players


Soccer:

Corona del Mar 0, Godinez 1 - 00:00 1st Half - Completed

Basketball:

Long Beach Poly 36, Troy 21 - 08:00 3rd QT - Completed

Basketball:

Rancho Christian 61, Capistrano Valley 68 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 56, Troy 68 - 00:00 1OT QT - Completed

Basketball:

San Clemente 41, Trabuco Hills 40 - 00:00 1OT QT - Completed

Soccer:

Ventura 0, Valencia 1 - 00:00 2nd Half - Completed

Basketball:

Gahr 61, Los Alamitos 63 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

Huntington Beach 64, Loyola 70 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

Woodcrest Christian 74, Santiago 59 - 00:00 4th QT - Completed

Basketball:

Godinez 30, Mission Viejo 29 - 00:00 2nd QT - Completed