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La Costa Canyon 12, Hilltop 7

Mavericks ride high on the waves, double win margin in young program's history


By Phillip Brents

Posted Sept. 24, 2002


The La Costa Canyon Mavericks have doubled the win total in the entire history of the school's water polo program after scoring a come-from-behind 12-7 non-league victory against Hilltop at the Loma Verde Pool in Chula Vista. Junior Jeff Lamb keyed the Mavericks -- only in their third year of play in the sport -- with a game-high six goals while senior Andy Douillard scored four goals and senior Thomas Gorman scored twice. Junior Cary Ladd rounded out the LCC scoring column with a fourth period lob shot to give the Mavs an 11-6 lead.


Prior to this season, La Costa Canyon had only recorded one win, going one season without a victory. The Mavericks entered the game against Hilltop following a 1-4 performance at the preceding weekend's Poway Invitational that earned the team a 24th place-finish in the 32-team tournament. The Lancers were also coming off a 1-4 performance at the Poway Invitational. 


La Costa Canyon (2-4) trailed 3-2 after the opening period against a Hilltop squad that had picked apart Pt. Loma 26-2 in its previous home game on Sept. 18. However, the Lancers (2-6) were stung by the loss of standout scorer Nick Davidson, who majored out of the game midway through the third period with the Mavericks holding a slim 7-6 lead. Davidson had accumulated four assists to that point in the matchup and entered the contest with 20 goals and six assists in seven games. Following Davidson's exit, La Costa Canyon outscored the depth-thin Hilltop 5-1 over the balance of the game -- accumulating a string of six unanswered goals prior to Davidson fouling out.


John Atkinson started the game in the cage for the Mavericks, making four saves. He was relieved by Noah Saltman (six saves) in the second half.


The stepped-up second-half defensive effort by LCC helped seal the win.


"We have a very stunted season compared to other teams that do double practices during hell week. Conversely, I've focused on defense," said Mavs coach James Smith.


Lamb, whom Smith called the best water polo player to yet play at La Costa Canyon, got the Mavericks rolling with a pair of goals in the first period and broke a 5-all tie early in the third period. His fifth goal of the game -- on a power shot from just inside half tank -- closed out the LCC scoring in the game, giving the Mavs a 12-6 lead late in the final period.   


La Costa Canyon is carrying four seniors on this year's roster -- Gorman, Atkinson, Douillard and Kyle Miholich -- in a growing program that features 28 players. The Mavericks fielded a full complement of junior varsity, varsity and novice teams for the non-league game at Loma Verde Pool. "Our future looks bright," said Smith, whose team has set a goal this season of producing a .500 season. 


Jeff Schroeder led Hilltop with three goals and one assist while Kyle Kovar had two goals and an assist. Matt Chism and Nick Kolata both added single goals. Kolata also had two assists -- a figure matched by Joe Olivarria. Golaie Will  Crumly had seven saves.     



Hilltop won the junior varsity game by a 6-4 score as Hesam Jelveh scored three times and Garret Boyle and Gabe Munoz both added single goals. Cory Fix had seven saves for the Lancers. LCC took the novice game by an 8-6 score.

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