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Troy takes Freeway to first title
IRVINE – There was a lot on the line as Troy's girls water polo team prepared to face La Serna of Whittier in the CIF-SS Division 4 championship game.
The winner would take home their first title in school history.
With one final stop from goalkeeper Jessica Harris, the Warriors became just the second Freeway League team to capture a CIF girls water polo title.
Shannon Grossman had a game-high four goals, and the Warriors rallied in the second half to defeat the Lancers, 9-5, Saturday at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.
Alison Lany had a natural hat trick in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors (25-8) walk away with the victory.
Troy coach Jason Wilson now owns both of the league's championship crowns.
He won with Sonora in 2008.
Wilson said he had aspirations of winning the league and being crowned CIF champion when he came to Troy three years ago.
"We had two goals entering this year," he said. "We accomplished both of them today."
Troy fell behind, 3-1, early, as the Lancers (21-11) dropped back into the 2-meter zone to take away the interior.
The Warriors closed to within one at the half when Grossman converted a quick pass-and-shoot from Lany with 37 seconds remaining in the period.
La Serna built its lead back to two with a power-play goal at the 4:42 mark of the third quarter.
That is when Troy's halftime adjustments began to take effect. The Warriors became willing to take shots over the defense, and scored seven goals in the last 12 minutes.
Minna Mattis scored with 26 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Warriors their first lead.
"We noticed that they were dropping off on our outside guys and dropping into our set," said Harris, who had 11 saves in the match.
"We realized that we would have to take outside shots and try to score there."
Grace Schade scored with 4:35 remaining to put the Warriors up, 6-4. Her goal proved to be the game winner.
Lany followed with three goals in 80 seconds to put away the game.