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November 4, 2009 > Mission and Washington win MVAL polo

Mission and Washington win MVAL polo

By Idorenyin Uto-Uko

The Mission Valley Athletic League water polo season ended the year on a high note this past weekend at the Shaughnessy MVAL Water Polo Championships at James Logan High School.

The girls of Mission San Jose High School beat a competitive team from Washington High School for the league title to end the season 9-1 in conference. Meanwhile, the boys title was captured by Washington, who blew the league competitors out the water with their fierce style of play and a 10-0 record.

The championship weekend was kicked off with a hard-fought contest between Mission and Washington girls on Tuesday, Oct. 27. In the match, Mission San Jose would assert itself as the more dominate team by beating Washington 6-3.

Both programs would each play a doubleheader that day. MSJ would go head-to-head with Irvington High School while Washington would compete against Newark Memorial High School.

MSJ beat the Irvington handily, 9-2. The game was highlighted by MSJ's Laura Conn, who had four of her team's five goals in the first period. Washington would get a 7-6 win against Newark as Kaley Marden showed off her scoring stroke by knocking down six goals for her Huskies.

By the time the championships rolled around on Halloween weekend (October 30-31) the teams each had enough competitive juices to reach the league finals. The championship game scenario was as interesting and crazy as it had been in recent years. If MSJ won they would get an automatic birth to the North Coast Section playoffs because they are the #1 seed. If MSJ were to lose to #3 seeded Washington, they would play WHS again for the automatic bid.

Washington would win out in a double overtime, 5-4 victory. Washington's Becca Belliveau scored two goals and goalie Breana Meager came up big with eight saves. Mission tried to combat the Huskies attack as Anna Kim scored a pair of goals herself. Mission San Jose's goalie Shelley Wenzel had 12 saves in the contest.

Washington's hopes to oust the top seed were short-lived, as Mission came out in the following match to decide who earned the automatic bid to NCS with a convincing 9-4 win. Leading the way for the Warriors was Tatiana McCuiag with four goals. Wenzel had six saves to hold down the Huskies offensive attack.

In the first round of the boys game MSJ would compete against Washington. The Huskies would beat the competitive Warriors of MSJ 9-4. In the contest David Westerhoff of MSJ tried his best by scoring two goals for his team. But his performance was not good enough as Washington's Jeremy and Kevin Correia would combine for seven goals. In other first round action American would lose out to Irvington by a score of 11-5.

Irvington and Washington had a heated shootout in the boys championship as Washington beat the Eagles, 7-2. Washington's scorers included Jeremy and Kevin Correia, Seth Neuman and Brock Liebhart.

Looking ahead to the NCS tournament, in the girls bracket, both MVAL finalists - Mission San Jose and Washington - as well as Newark Memorial qualified. MSJ enters as the 13th seed and will take on #20 Ygnacio Valley High School Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Soda Aquatic Center at 4:30 p.m.; Washington earned the 15th seed and will battle number-18 Alhambra High School at the Soda Aquatic Center at 7 p.m. on November 4; and Newark Memorial, as the 19 seed, will go up against #14 Clayton Valley High School, also on November 4, at 5:45 at Miramonte High School.

In the boys bracket of the NCS Tournament, Washington earned the 10 seed and will battle 23-seeded Freedom High School, November 4 at 8:15 p.m. at the Soda Aquatic Center. Meanwhile, Irvington, as the 20 seed, will travel to Contra Costa College for their first-round match-up on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to take on 13-seed Sir Francis Drake at 5 p.m.

Log onto to get up-to-the-minute scores and schedules as each team vies for an NCS title.

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