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Crescenta Valley girls' water polo dominates en route to semifinal win

Crescenta Valley Falcons earn trip to first-ever championship match with 14-4 win over REV.

February 20, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley's Ashley Taylor finished with a game-high four goals, four assists and two steals for the Falcons.
Crescenta Valley's Ashley Taylor finished with… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

WHITTIER — It was a play the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team wasn't expecting to run.

The Falcons hadn't run anything like it all season, but when they did — with about four minutes to go in the CIF Southern Section Division V semifinal match with Redlands East Valley — it showed just how in control they were.

On both ends of the pool and in every fashion imaginable, Crescenta Valley bested the Wildcats en route to a 14-4 victory at Whittier College Wednesday to stamp its ticket into the program’s first-ever championship game Saturday.

“You're not supposed to win a semifinals game by 10 goals, and it was 9-0 at one point and time,” first-year Crescenta Valley Coach Brent Danna said. “The girls just came out and played a great game. Sometimes you've just got to shrug your shoulders and say, 'Wow.' It was fun to watch.”

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There were two signs of how well the Falcons (30-2) were playing displayed in the game.

First, the Wildcats (23-9) pulled their starting goalie Alexis Hollinrake, who's also the 16-and-under cadet national team goalie, with about 10 minutes left in the game after CV scored the first nine goals of the contest.

Perhaps the most memorable moment came with four minutes to play, after the Wildcats earned a six-on-five opportunity and promptly called a timeout. A few seconds after REV set up its offense, Danna shouted “blue ball” and all five of the Falcons sprinted toward Redland's goal.

“We were up and having a little fun, so we decided to try and make a play,” Danna said. “The girls work so hard all year long, it's fun to be in a position to do something like that.”

The move clearly confused the Wildcats, who then looked to capitalize on the six-on-none. They finally did so on its third shot from Mikayla Vessey after two saves from CV goalie Gabriel Isacson. REV's late tally brought the score to 12-3 and proved to be inconsequential, as the Falcons won by double-digits.

The lopsided victory helped Crescenta Valley exorcise its demons from the last two years, in which it was eliminated by Temescal Canyon a game before the finals in 2012 and 2011 by scores of 9-7 and 10-9, respectively. Overall, it was the program’s fifth semifinal appearance, but first to end with advancement.

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