Charger offense stalls

Edison girls’ water polo steam edged by Laguna Beach, 6-4, Tuesday in match featuring two of top teams in Orange County.

December 17, 2009|By Matt Szabo

LAGUNA BEACH — The problem wasn’t getting the shots Tuesday afternoon for the Edison High girls’ water polo team.

The problem was converting them, and against a solid opponent like Laguna Beach, that made the difference as the host Breakers captured a 6-4 nonleague win.

Edison, which has been enjoying a very solid early-season run, has already beaten Long Beach Wilson and Rosary to open the season and finished third in the Villa Park Tournament over the weekend. The Chargers (7-2) are ranked No. 4 in the county.


Yet, on Tuesday, they only managed one goal in a first half which ended with them trailing, 3-1.

“We scored one goal in the first half, and that’s not typical Edison water polo,” Coach Diggy Riley said. “We missed a lot of opportunities. [We had] 11 shots into the goalie’s stomach by halftime. We made her look like she was all-world, and I think that was a major difference right off the bat.”

Edison did respond, scoring two quick goals after half. Sophomore Alys Williams connected on both, pulling the Chargers even. And even after Laguna (2-0) responded, senior Danielle Warde scored a five-meter penalty shot to again knot the score at 4-4 with 5:32 remaining in the game.

But Edison couldn’t find the back of the net again.

“We had some great looks and we played great defense,” Riley said. “We held them to five goals [not counting the last-second score], so we did our job. I figure if you can hold any varsity team to seven goals, we’re going to score more than seven, nine out of 10 times. This happened to be the day where we didn’t.”

Williams had the two goals and a pair of steals for Edison, while Warde, a UC Irvine commit, had a goal and a steal. Freshman Melissa Balding added a goal and a steal and senior goalie Clair Babinski, a San Diego State commit, added 13 saves.

Williams is just a sophomore but is a close second to Warde (36) on the team with 32 goals.

“She’s been playing phenomenal,” Riley said. “She’s an all-around player. She’s posting up at two meters, she’s feeding the counterattack, she’s counterattacking. And she’s guarding two meters, like she guarded [Laguna Beach senior and Stanford commit] Lexie [Ross] a bunch in this game. She’s got a great future ahead of her.”

Edison plays at Dana Hills today.


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