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Santa Margarita falls to Murrieta Valley
Santa Margarita’s boys water polo team didn’t sweep its challenging season-opening series, but the No. 10 Eagles played another entertaining match Wednesday.
Santa Margarita pushed Division 2 contender and visiting Murrieta Valley before fading in the fourth period and falling, 12-10, in a nonleague match.
On Tuesday, Santa Margarita opened its season with an 8-7 triumph against Division 3 challenger Tesoro.
Tesoro and Murrieta Valley are both new nonleague foes for Santa Margarita.
“We want to bring more action down here (to South County),” Santa Margarita coach Paden Mitchell said of the games. “We want to be like the football team (here). We want to be like Mater Dei’s (boys water polo team).”
The score was locked, 10-10, going into the fourth period, but Murrieta Valley (1-0) shut out the Eagles and received a go-ahead strike at center from Tristan Reinhardt. The U.S. cadet team member scored his lone goal shortly after the fourth-period sprint.
Reinhardt and fellow-starter Tyler Dudek didn’t enter the match until the third period because of a violation of team rules, Murrieta Valley coach Bryan Lynton said.
Santa Margarita center Stephen Riggins almost responded to the Reinhardt strike, but his shot from center on the next possession bounced off the post.
Ian Rose added another goal for Murrieta Valley with 1:46 left in the fourth to extend the lead to 12-10.
The Nighthawks played strong defense in the second half, especially in the fourth period. But Santa Margarita also played the final period without strong-armed attacker Riley Smith, who fouled out after netting four goals.
“Murrieta Valley is strong,” Mitchell said. “(Lynton) does a great job – that’s one of the reasons we really wanted to play them.”
Riggins also finished with four goals. Murrieta Valley played a strong help-defense on the senior in the second half. The left-hander scored two of his three first-half goals from center.
“We had to make an adjustment,” Lynton said. “We were going to lose for sure.”
Santa Margarita sophomore goalie Ryan Melosini made 11 saves. Attackers Ryan Sargis and Talon Gay each scored three goals for Murrieta Valley.
The Nighthawks went 4 for 9 with the extra attacker and converted a penalty shot. The Eagles went 2 for 4 on the power-play.
In other nonleague matches:
No. 6 Foothill 11, Capistrano Valley 9: Josh Mehlberger scored three goals and Christopher Brose and Jake Snyder added two goals apiece to lead the visiting Knights (1-0). Jon Beck netted five goals for the Cougars (1-1).
Fountain Valley 10, Yorba Linda 6: Kyle Breznau scored three goals at Ocean View to help the Barons (1-1) beat the top-ranked team in Division 7.
Northwood 18, Aliso Niguel: Billy Monjay and John Hartshorne each scored five goals to pace the host Timberwolves to make it a successful debut for Coach Chris Murin.
Mission Viejo 12, Norco 8: Christian Macias scored six goals and goalie Raymond Rhew made 13 saves to help the host Diablos win in the debut of Coach Jeff Rach.