The first contest of the Channel League girls water polo tournament required two three-minute overtime periods – and Cabrillo took full advantage of having the extra time.
Led by a late scoring charge by Mary Rhodes and goals by Kaiya Ogan and Katie Hunt, the Conquistadores rallied to a 14-10 victory over Santa Ynez at the Lompoc Aquatic Center on Tuesday.
Before the overtime periods, the Conqs and the Pirates drew even on the scoreboard five different times.
Cabrillo – which entered the L.A.C at 1-4 in Channel League games – got up 4-2 entering the second period following the hat trick in goals by Rhodes, who earned Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table honors on Monday for firing five goals in Cabrillo’s last meeting against SYHS (a 10-6 Thursday win). But, the Pirates turned to left-hander Layna King to swing the momentum back to Santa Ynez’s way.
King fired her second goal early in the second to cut the lead to 4-3. Annie Ackert then out-swam two CHS defenders and used her right arm to fire in the tying goal at 4-4.
Cabrillo’s Ashlyn Wiswall and Rhodes, though, responded for the black and gold by tacking on the next two goals to extend the lead at 6-4. King would get SYHS to answer back by flinging the ball into the net twice to tie things up at halftime.
In the early part of the third quarter, the Pirates jumped out to the 8-6 lead behind Taye Luke putting the ball through the net and then Ackert adding her second goal of the contest.
But as CHS head coach Mike Lee said, the Conquistadores never lost their composure and chose to rally back together.
“Our girls stayed in the game. There could’ve been points in the game where they’ve could’ve gotten down. The girls fought back and got it into overtime and they just played hard. They decided they wanted to win. They played great team water polo on offense and defense,” Lee said.
Rhodes found the net again during that third period to slice the lead at 8-7. Kaiya Ogan subsequently tied things up at eight toward the end of the third.
In the fourth, Wiswall scored her second goal to put CHS back in the lead. The Pirates, though, refused to waver – turning to Liti Torres to tie it up at nine. Gretchen Von Protz scored next for CHS until Ackert found the net for the third time on the day, tying things up at 10 and forcing overtime.
But CHS would end the opening game of the league prelims on a 4-0 run. Cabrillo then fell to top-seeded Dos Pueblos 19-7 in the semifinals.
Rhodes used her right arm to score twice during the first three-minute extra period. She went on to finish with seven goals on the day. Ogan and Katie Hunt sealed the victory by adding the last two goals in the contest.
Lee said that it’s been rare that CHS has been forced to rally back and stretch a game into overtime this season.
“We haven’t been in a ton of situations where we had to play like that in the end,” Lee said.
Yet, much like past battles with the Pirates during their years as Los Padres League members, Lee anticipated a down to the wire battle with Cabrillo’s longtime rival.
“Against Santa Ynez, they always bring out the best in us,” Lee said.
Ogan finished with two goals – both coming in the second half. Wiswall and Von Protz both finished with two goals each.
On the Pirates’ side, King ended her day with five goals. Ackert followed her with three goals. Santa Ynez will now play in the fifth-place contest on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
The win put Cabrillo against the top seed Dos Pueblos in the 3:50 p.m. contest.
Dos Pueblos 19, Cabrillo 7
The Chargers entered the contest unbeaten at 5-0 – and left the Lompoc Aquatic Center still unbeaten after Tuesday.
Dos Pueblos’ win officially placed them in the championship game set for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Cabrillo will now take part in the third-place contest beforehand, which is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.
San Marcos 9, Lompoc 1
The Braves fell in their prelim contest against the Royals, which now places them in Wednesday’s 2 p.m battle against the Pirates.