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Northwood battles but falls to Ventura
IRVINE - Northwood's girls water polo team made a late charge Tuesday afternoon but it couldn't complete the comeback, falling to Ventura, 7-4, in a CIF-SS Division 1 wild-card playoff match at Northwood.
The Timberwolves trailed, 5-2, going into final quarter but closed the gap to 5-4 on a goal by Isabelle Comtois with 3:56 left.
Ventura countered with two goals and held the Timberwolves scoreless to advance into Wednesday's first-round match against Newport Harbor in the Sailors' pool.
"We started to make a little run, but we sort of missed a couple of defensive assignments in the fourth quarter," Northwood coach Ed Carrera said. "I've got to hand it to Ventura. They had a good game plan and they have some strong players.
"They just outplayed us today."
After a scoreless first period, Ventura outscored the Timberwolves, 4-2, in the second quarter.
Northwood was unable to capitalize on several 6-on-5 opportunities and Ventura goalie Mollie Watkins was tough, recording eight saves.
Northwood (20-9) was led by Comtois and Emma Verdecia, who had two goals each.
"We were hoping to get everyone involved a little bit more," Carrera said. "Usually our success rate really depends on how many of our players are involved in the offense. When it's just two people scoring the majority of our goals, we're in trouble."
Northwood goalie Erin Skelley kept the Timberwolves in the game with 11 saves.
"She had a good game," Carrera said. "Defensively, we missed some assignments and we put Skelley in a bad situation."
Ventura was led by Lauren McCaslin and Morgan Towner, who had two goals each.