News

Alta Loma girls water polo team rallies past Rosary in CIF State regional opener

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Seeding means little when it comes to the CIF State girls water polo regional playoffs.

Alta Loma found that out the hard way for three quarters Tuesday evening.

But the top-seeded Braves recovered to score the game’s final five goals in a 14-10 victory over No. 8 Rosary in a Division II first-round match at rainy Alta Loma High School.

Alta Loma’s Carly Berzins, (#12), looks to score against Rosary...

Alta Loma’s Carly Berzins, (#12), looks to score against Rosary Academy’s (#), in a CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Rosary Academy’s Alexis Velazquez(#13), fires a shot attempt over Alta...

Rosary Academy’s Alexis Velazquez(#13), fires a shot attempt over Alta Loma’s Angelina Cinquemani, (#7), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Alta Loma’s Payton White, (#2), looks to score over Rosary...

Alta Loma’s Payton White, (#2), looks to score over Rosary Academy’s Emma Aljurdi, (#6), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Alta Loma’s Dominique Alonso, (#5), Mollie Kochel,(#18), defend against Rosary...

Alta Loma’s Dominique Alonso, (#5), Mollie Kochel,(#18), defend against Rosary Academy’s Madilyn Ekstrom, (#5), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Alta Loma goal keeper Charlotte Winters, (#1), blocks a shot...

Alta Loma goal keeper Charlotte Winters, (#1), blocks a shot attempt against Rosary Academy during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Rosary Academy’s Spencer Anne Thiemann, (#9), looks to score ahead...

Rosary Academy’s Spencer Anne Thiemann, (#9), looks to score ahead of Alta Loma’s Dominique Alonso,(#5), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Rosary Academy’s Emma Aljurdi, (#6), looks to score between Alta...

Rosary Academy’s Emma Aljurdi, (#6), looks to score between Alta Loma’s Alta Loma’s Carly Berzins, (#12), Payton White, (#2), and (#14), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Rosary Academy’s Madilyn Ekstrom,(#5), takes a shot attempt over Alta...

Rosary Academy’s Madilyn Ekstrom,(#5), takes a shot attempt over Alta Loma’s Lola Baiz, (#3), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Alta Loma’s Angelina Cinquemani, (#7), passes the ball over Rosary...

Alta Loma’s Angelina Cinquemani, (#7), passes the ball over Rosary Academy’s Madilyn Ekstrom, (#5), to teammate Lola Baiz,(#3), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Alta Loma’s Samantha Passwater, (#8), looks to score against Rosary...

Alta Loma’s Samantha Passwater, (#8), looks to score against Rosary Academy’s Stacy Stroud, (#2), during their CIF-SS State Division II girls water polo regional playoff opener at Alta Loma High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Feb. 20, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Alta Loma (15-9), the CIF Southern Section’s Division 2 champion, advances to the semifinals and will face No. 4 seeded Clairemont (18-10) on Friday at 3:45 p.m. at Mt. San Antonio College. Clairemont qualified for the regionals by winning the San Diego Section’s Open Division consolation play-in bracket.

“All of our nerves were into CIF (Southern Section finals),” said Alta Loma assistant coach Guillermo Ocasio, who was filling in for absent coach Kristin Rodriguez. “I felt like our energy was a little bit down coming into this game, but the girls did a pretty good job of digging deep and coming back in the fourth quarter.”

Rosary, the Southern Section’s Division 4 champion, never trailed during the first three quarters, but never led by more than two goals. The Royals’ last lead was 10-9 when Spencer Anne Thiemann scored with 2:50 to play in the third quarter.

Just 37 seconds later, Angelina Cinquemani scored for Alta Loma to tie the score.

Then in the fourth quarter, the Braves’ defense took over, as they held Rosary scoreless despite having two players excluded. Junior goalkeeper Charlotte Winters was a big part of that, making four saves in the fourth quarter.

Offensively, that was when junior Payton White got hot. White scored three of her four goals in succession as Alta Loma took control of the game,

Sophomore Mollie Kochel scored the game’s final goal, sealing the win with 1:10 to play.

“Our captains did a pretty good job of motivating our team,” Ocasio said. “When stuff hits the wall, they know how to motivate the team, encourage them that the game isn’t over.

“Defensively we weren’t aware enough in the first half. Second half, we were more aware, forcing shots from the worst angle possible. I feel like in the first half we were a little bit stagnant and not in our A game.”

In addition to White’s four goals, Cinquemani led Alta Loma with five goals, and Carly Berzins added three goals.

It ended the playoff run of Rosary, which was playing the fourth team from the Inland Empire and third from Rancho Cucamonga in the postseason, having defeated Redlands, Etiwanda and Los Osos in the Southern Section playoffs.

“We have a very young squad and we’re working on getting deeper into our bench,” Rosary coach Gabriel Martinez said. “And that’s what we did in the game. We went deeper into our bench. Some of the girls don’t have the experience but they’re going to get it, and this is a good opportunity for them to get it.”

Martinez, whose teams was an at-large entry into the playoffs from the Trinity League, said his team was not intimidated by Alta Loma.

“We have a lot of respect for Alta Loma, but we’re not intimidated,” Martinez said. “It could be the national team coming in and we’re going to do our best.”

Madilyn Ekstrom and Thiemann scored three goals apiece to lead Rosary.

Source link

Related posts

Orange County boys athlete of the week: Collin Clarke, Santa Margarita

School Sports

5 For the Fight Hoopfest will be in Utah this week

School Sports

Three more former Servite students allege they were sexually abused by priest

School Sports

Leave a Comment