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King takes down Santiago to secure Big VIII League girls water polo title

By in Press Enterprise on February 8, 2018

By Eric-Paul Johnson

CORONA >> King girls water polo coach Alvaro Moreno shocked many when he selected Madison Stamen to guard Santiago center Brooke Barlow during the first quarter of Wednesday night’s Big VIII League carousel championship.

Moreno wanted to keep Barlow from scoring, and Stamen managed to do that. It came at a price, however, as Barlow drew a pair of exclusions against Stamen.

Stamen continued to play with the two ejections but did so with a bit of caution.

Kyndall Burrell, Hannah Falls-Hand and Allison Dickson stepped up and carried the offense, combining to score eight goals as the Wolves posted a 9-4 victory. King won the Big VIII League carousel championship match for a fifth consecutive season.

“Most of us are 50-50 players when it comes to offense and defense,” said Burrell, who is one of the team’s top defenders. “We had to step up in other area’s tonight.”

Last month, the teams combined for 12 goals during the opening period and the final score was 15-13 in favor of King. Goals came at a premium on Wednesday.

Burrell scored twice in the opening period, her goals sandwiched around one by Falls-Hand, to help King grab a 3-1 lead. Santiago had three power-play chances in the first quarter but only managed to convert the first (a goal by Madison O’Hara).

Santiago’s Mica Schiavone halved that deficit early in the second quarter, but Dickson put King ahead 4-2 with 3:10 left in the half. It looked that would be the halftime score, but Stamen scored on a backhand with 25 seconds remaining.

Dickson scored the lone goal in the third period, and Burrell added her third on the opening possession of the fourth quarter to extend King’s advantage to 7-2. The Wolves held Santiago scoreless for a span of 13 minutes and 23 seconds.

“Our biggest focus was defense today,” […]    

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