The banged up Lady Chieftains relied on a 5 goal second half surge to rally past the Santana Sultans on Wednesday night in Santee. The first quarter was all senior captain Ella Denny! After winning the opening sprint, sophomore Phoebe Currigan passed the ball to an isolated Denny on the post, who wheeled her defender and blasted a shot over the goalie’s head for a 1-0 lead. Two possessions later and Currigan found Denny once more on the post, who wheeled and dealed for her second goal of the game. Back up goal tender Zoe Daly had an outstanding night as well, stopping all 5 shots on cage in the first quarter, and hitting Denny with a beautiful pass in transition who immidiately wheeled two defenders and scored once more.
Up 3-0 going into the second, the Sultans defense adjusted their game plan and stiffled the Chieftain offense. The Sultans also ramped up their offensive game, launching a salvo of shots on goal for the next 7 minutes. But Daly was up the task, swatting away attempt after attempt to maintain her shut out. Finally with less than 1 minute remaining in the half, Santana snuck one past Daly on a power play, drawing the score to 3-1 at half time.
The Chieftains were winded, and the Sultans had momentum. 4 minutes through the 3rd quarter and the Chieftains found themselves down 4-3, as Santana struck with 3 straight goals to claim their first lead of the game. The girls were called in with a time out and given a pep talk. The girls understood what needed to be done, and came out of the timeout with a big goal from sophomore Kaitlyn Heindl to tie the game at 4-4. With the fire restored, the Chieftains finished out the quarter strong by smothering the Sultans on defense. Currigan was the hot passing hand all night, this time finding junior center Ashlynn Sauerwein who snapped off her defender and blasted a shot home to put the Chiefs back up front again 5-4.
The 4th quarter began with intensity as both teams fought desperately to win. But the moment that truly changed the game was mid-way through the quarter. Santana took advantage of a turnover to get up on a break away counter attack, but the goalie just over through her player giving Zoe Daly just enough time to sprint from her goal to make a play on the ball. Reaching the ball at the same time as Santana, Daly ripped the ball from the girl’s hand, swam from her now pursuing defender, then turned around launched a pass to Ella Denny who threaded the needle to put Clairemont up 6-4. This sequence of events seemed to deflate the Sultans, who never truly challenged for the lead again. Sauerwein put the game on ice with her second goal of the game, and the Chieftains cruised to an 8-4 victory.
Goals – Ella Denny (5), Ashlynn Sauerwein (2), Kaitlyn Heindl (1)
Assists – Phoebe Currigan (3), Ella Denny (2), Zoe Daly (1), Kaitlyn Heindl (1)
Steals – Ella Denny (6), Phoebe Currigan (3), Kaitlyn Heindl (3), Fiona Flanagan (2), Zoe Daly (1)
Saves – Zoe Daly (16)
The Clairemont Girl’s Water Polo team improves to 1-1 on the season. Up next, the Chieftains host rival Mission Bay for their home opener on the season. Game begins at 6pm. COME OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR CHIEFTAINS!!!!