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Valencia delivers strong blow to Yorba Linda
High school water polo roundup.
Valencia's boys water polo team shook up CIF-SS Division 7 on Thursday by sprinting past visiting Yorba Linda, 11-3, in an Empire League match.
Junior Cole Engstrom scored a season-high six goals and the third-ranked Tigers (7-6, 4-0) played strong 2-meter defense against the Mustangs (13-3, 2-1), the top-ranked team in Division 7.
Valencia's primary 2-meter defenders, Jacob Cavish and Dean Anderson, helped shut out Yorba Linda's 2-meter attack.
The Tigers also shut out Yorba Linda's man-advantage, which finished 0 for 3.
Valencia's active defense received five steals apiece from Engstrom and Nikhil Shah and eight saves from goalie Kyle Metcalf. The Tigers guarded center well but also crashed extra defenders to help.
"We played as a whole (team)," Engstrom said. "We had pretty good set defense from Jacob Cavish. ... We came out ready to play."
Valencia coach Bernard Ma said of his team, "I think they played really well as a team. ... The kids are excited."
Engstrom and Jeremy Scharf each scored once at 2 meters for Valencia. Scharf finished with three goals.
Engstrom also scored twice on the man-advantage as Valencia converted both of its chances with the extra attacker.
The Tigers scored the final four goals of the first half to lead, 5-1. They then went on a 6-0 run in the second half.
"They wanted it more," Yorba Linda coach Shardad Djahangiry said of Valencia, co-champions in the Empire last season with Tustin.
Connor Aguilera made nine saves for Yorba Linda. The Mustangs will face more tests in the division at the Central Orange County tournament Friday and Saturday.
"I want to see what these boys are made of," Djahangiry said.
In the Pacific Coast League:
No. 4 Corona del Mar 19, No. 9 Northwood 8: Reid Chase stayed hot with four goals to lead the host Sea Kings (15-4, 8-0).
No. 1 Mater Dei 15, Miramonte of Orinda 7: Jon Walters scored six goals and Kent Inoue added four to lead the visiting Monarchs (16-0), who won their Southern Section record 64th consecutive game.
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