First published in the Jan. 27 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
La Salle College Preparatory’s varsity girls’ water polo team survived a hard-fought battle to emerge victorious over host Mayfield Senior, 12-9, in a Prep League matchup last Thursday.
It was anyone’s game as the Cubs and Lancers were tied 8-8 entering the fourth quarter. Mayfield’s Katherine Thompson scored for a 9-8 lead 30 seconds into the quarter, but La Salle (6-0 league record, 10-2 overall) shut down the Cubs (3-3 league record, 7-8 overall) the rest of the way while finishing on a 4-0 scoring run to win it.
Lancers senior captain Savannah Robles scored the tying and go-ahead goals in the middle of the fourth quarter and added one more for good measure with 51 seconds remaining. She finished with four goals and four assists.
“Savannah is a baller. She understands that she can score 12 goals a game, but it doesn’t matter if we still lose,” La Salle head coach Ian Castillo said. “What she really likes to do is she’ll be the center of attention, everyone comes to her, and then all she wants is for her teammates to be right next to her so she can give them an easy pass to score.”
Entering the third quarter, Mayfield quickly erased its three-goal deficit as Thompson, Tillie VanAken and Maggie Mazurek scored three consecutive goals to tie the match 7-7. Thompson and VanAken did the heavy lifting for Mayfield on offense, as each ended with three goals. Rounding out the Cubs’ scoring was Olivia Laguna, who added one goal in the second quarter.
The defense shined in the final half of the third quarter as both teams faced a three-minute scoring drought before trading goals to set up the deciding fourth quarter.
Mayfield goalie Ella Yoon turned in a stellar performance with a game-high 16 saves.
“Ella has proven that she has a talent for water polo,” Mayfield head coach Elizabeth Ann Karl said. “She used to be a goalie when she played soccer years ago and she was our only volunteer to play goalie. The passes, the blocks — she’s just really coming into her own.”
When the Lancers scored, they typically scored in bunches. La Salle ended the second quarter on a 3-1 scoring run, highlighted by two goals from sophomore Cameron Turner in the half’s final minute. In the third quarter, she added one more goal to finish with three goals total.
Lancers freshman captain Grace Kachmarsky scored twice, sophomore Candice Cheung added one goal and junior Zoe Thomas had one assist. Junior goalie Monica Villasenor tallied 10 saves while adding two assists on offense.
“I don’t think we would be anywhere without our goalie, Monica,” Castillo said. “Not only is she blocking the shots that are more than difficult, but she is also moving the ball three-fourths of the pool and dropping a perfect dime to another player. Mayfield scored nine but they took 24 shots, so she’s putting in more than enough work.”