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Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo tops Harvard-Westlake

Water polo: Falcons go up two divisions, take down host Wolverines, 15-9.

January 15, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

STUDIO CITY — Whether or not anyone within the Pacific League or CIF Southern Section Division V will stop the Crescenta Valley High girls’ water polo team from repeating as CIF Southern Section divisional champion will not be determined for weeks.

In the meanwhile, the Falcons had no problems demonstrating that they could play in another stratum, as Division V second-ranked Crescenta Valley was at times dominant in frustrating and ultimately defeating Division III No. 2 Harvard-Westlake, 15-9, on the road Wednesday afternoon.

“I was really impressed that we ended up winning the game by six goals because we were down two starters in the second half,” Falcons Coach Brent Danna said. “We actually extended the lead with two subs and that was impressive, especially against this team.”

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It could be argued that the Falcons (10-3) were outplayed in the second quarter, but still took an 8-5 advantage into the break.

That lead ballooned to 13-6 after Crescenta Valley won the third quarter, 5-1, thanks to a smothering defense.

Perhaps the Falcons were strongest in penalty-kill mode, as Harvard Westlake (6-4) had three six-on-five opportunities in the quarter, all coming on fouls called against sophomore Audrey Taylor (two goals), who was subsequently ejected with three minutes remaining in the third.

The Wolverines only scored on one such attempt on a goal from two-meter attacker Sydney Cheong, who was assisted by Rebecca Armstrong.

The score came at the 4:14 mark and brought the Wolverines within 9-6.

Unfortunately for Harvard-Westlake, the Falcons held the home team scoreless for more than five minutes by clamping down on Cheong and forcing several perimeter shots.

Offensively, Natalie Krebsbach scored the Falcons’ second goal of the third quarter on Crescenta Valley’s own six-on-five advantage off an assist from Elissa Arnold with 3:53 remaining in the third that put the visitors ahead by four.

Crescenta Valley continued to pile on the scoring, grabbing goals from Ashley Taylor and then from Arnold to go up, 12-6, before notching one more goal in the closing seconds.

Falcons senior Ashley Taylor took hold of a cross-pool pass from Arnold and scored with one second on the shot clock and 15 seconds remaining overall to virtually seal the game as the Falcons led, 13-6, after three.

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