Lady Highlanders fall short in first round to Cougars
By Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal
The La Habra High School Lady Highlanders’ water polo team fell short in the first round of the CIF Playoffs against the Capistrano Valley Lady Cougars, 9-7, Thursday at Fullerton College.
Both teams played great defense in the first quarter. La Habra did a great job shutting down the dangerous scorers on Capo Valley.
After the first quarter, the score was 0-0. The teams would both pick up their offense in the last three quarters, and the game was very back and forth.
Gabbi Garcia of La Habra had two goals in the second and gave the Lady Highlanders a 2-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the half. Then, two costly ejections for La Habra led to easy goals for the Cougars. They took advantage of the two six-on- five opportunities, and Madison Masushima scored on both possessions.
She also had the first goal for the Cougars, bringing her first half total to three.
“The coach warned us about her, and gave us all jobs to do but some of them were not done properly,” said junior Raney Remme. “Sometimes we did do them right. Like in the first, we shut her down.”
At the half, the Cougars led 3-2.
Early in the third, Remme netted a goal to tie the game at 3-3. The tie would not hold up for long.
Masushima got a breakaway and was fouled from behind, giving her a penalty shot against the goalie. She made it no problem and took and took a 4-3 lead for Capistrano Valley.
Remme would answer right back with a beautiful goal that went right under the goalies arm to the bottom, right corner of the net.
The Cougars closed out the third quarter on a 3-0 run, including another by Masushima and took a 7-4 lead into the fourth.
The lead was too much for the Lady Highlanders, who could not quite come back. Garcia added another goal in the fourth to give her three for the game. Masushima added two more fourth quarter goals, to give her seven on the day.
“I thought we played really well today, especially in six-on-five situations,” said Coach Robertson. “But at the end of the day we had three players that we needed to stop, and stopped two out of three.”
The loss ends the season for the Lady Highlanders. They finished the season with a 13-14 record, but they are a young squad with a lot of potential. Coach Robertson just finished her first year as coach, and will be more familiar with the team next year.
“I thought we had a good season overall,” said Robertson. “I have a whole starting lineup coming back next year, and will have a lot more experienced players.”
“I think we played pretty well this season,” added Garcia, also a junior. “We had a good bond this season, and I can’t wait for next year.