By Rick LeBeau
The season may appear to be winding down for most high school girls’ water polo teams right now, but it’s still heating up for La Jolla Vikings and Cathedral Catholic Dons, who are vying with Coronado to take down this season’s favorite, The Bishop’s School, when CIF playoffs start just after Valentine’s Day.
While Bishop’s has appeared dominant this season, the Vikings, Dons, and Islanders have been scrapping for bragging rights and seeding positions. Having both recently defeated Coronado decisively in recent weeks, La Jolla visited the Dons recently at their aquatic complex on campus.
As billed, the game was tight from the outset. Both teams played a clean game, and 6-on-5 opportunities were rare, due to the few ejections called. Facing mostly outside shots, goalies Stevie Schweighardt for the Vikings and Jilian Wilding for the Dons kept the game close, with the score knotted at 3 as the first half came to a close.
The third quarter opened with La Jolla showing more energy, but the game remained a defensive battle, with coaches Bret Ormsby (Dons) and Dante Laghetto (Vikings) trying to figure a way to give their team a match-up advantage. The chess match continued into the fourth quarter, with Victoria Frager and Ariel Arcidiacano leading the scoring for La Jolla, while Rachael Rosi and Emilie Myers carried the offense for Cathedral.
Finally, with the game tied at 5 in the fourth quarter, La Jolla was able to put the game away with the final two goals of the contest. Sarah Young scored the insurance goal in the 90 seconds, locking up the win for the Vikings.