Santa Fe Christian wins Division II girls water polo title

Coach David Bennett (red cap) celebrates title with the Santa Fe Christian girls water polo team.

Bishop’s earns a four-peat in Open Division, other crowns claimed


Even though a three-goal lead slipped away, junior Revere Schmidt and her Santa Fe Christian High teammates wouldn’t be denied their second San Diego Section girls water polo championship in three years.

Schmidt scored her fourth goal with 2:10 left to help stem a comeback bid by top-seeded Granite Hills and account for the final margin in a 6-5 victory in the Division II final at La Jolla High on Saturday, Feb. 19.

“We’ve wanted it since the beginning of the season,” said Schmidt, who also led Santa Fe Christian to the D-III crown in 2020. “We put our all out there and that’s all we can give. I’m glad that it paid off.”

Senior goalie Charlotte Adams stopped a close-range shot with 46 seconds remaining to help seal the win for No. 2 Santa Fe Christian (19-7), coached by David Bennett.

“Honestly, all I was thinking was ‘She cannot score right now,’ ” said Adams, a fourth-year starter, who finished with six saves.

After facing a 5-2 deficit, Granite Hills (28-2) pulled even 5-5 with 4:21 left on two goals by Chloe Morgan and another by Korinne McCarthy.

Mylin Bennett scored the other two Santa Fe Christian goals in the game between teams both named Eagles.

Open Division

During a celebratory plunge, senior Alex Bonaguidi and her Bishop’s teammates each raised four fingers and chanted, “Four-peat, four-peat!”

Bonaguidi scored five goals to spearhead the top-seeded Knights as they breezed past Grossmont 18-1 for their fourth consecutive title.

Bishop’s (18-6) recorded the first 14 goals into the third quarter on the way to outscoring its three playoff foes 57-6 overall.

Kristin Furuholmen converted a penalty shot with 32 seconds left in the third quarter for the only score by No. 3 Grossmont (24-6).

The Knights, under coaches Doug Peabody and Ian Davidson, received three goals each from Johnson, Sofia Holman and Julia Bonaguidi, Alex’s sister.

Bishop’s, which held a 9-0 halftime edge, also earned its 11th crown in 12 years.

Division I

It was hard getting anything past Coronado senior goalie Michelle Croteau in the Islanders’ bid for their first championship since 2010.

Croteau recorded 12 saves as the Islanders overpowered top-seeded Clairemont 11-3 with a balanced attack otherwise.

“This means the world to us,’’ said Croteau, a fourth-year starter. “It’s last hurrah for all of us (seniors).’’

Croteau made four saves in first quarter while No. 2 Coronado (13-9) warmed up on offense to take a 2-0 lead by period’ end and then a 6-1 halftime edge.

“By setting the pace, I’ll help my team out mentally,’’ said Croteau whose older sister Danni competes for San Diego State. “It’s like, ‘OK, she has my back, and I can do what I want.’ ”

No. 2 Coronado (13-9), previously a fixture in the Open Division, received two goals each from Katherine Wastila, Sofia Goicoecha, and Sarah Olson. In all, eight Islanders scored.

Calli Brown recorded all three goals for the Chieftains (21-8-1).

Division III

Things couldn’t get better for Bonita Vista senior goalie Nayelli Rodriguez in winding down her four-year varsity career.

Rodriguez recorded a shutout with 11 saves to help the top-seeded Barons overpower Francis Parker 9-0 in the first final for both schools after missing out on the playoffs last season.

“Not going to the playoffs last season and winning it all this year just shows how hard we worked,” Rodriguez said.

Freshman Olivia Gutierrez scored all three of her goals in the first half to help stake Bonita Vista (22-7) to a 4-0 advantage over the No. 2 Lancers (15-6).

“I was so fired up,’’ said Gutierrez, who also had a team-high four goals in the semifinals.

Sylvanna Olivas added the last three goals for the Barons, who outscored their three playoff foes 43-4 overall.

Bonita Vista, coached by Betty Alexander, moved from D-II this season.

Thien is a freelance writer.