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Warrior water polo secures league lead

A battle between two girls water polo teams who had been undefeated in Avocado League competition saw Fallbrook High School defeat Torrey Pines High School by an 8-6 score on January 22 at the Fallbrook High School pool.

“That was a very important win for us, obviously,” said Fallbrook coach Bob Lamont.

The Warriors led 3-0 at the end of the first period. “I think they had a little trouble adjusting to the shallow-deep facility,” Lamont said of the Falcons’ struggles.

The teams switched ends for the second period and Torrey Pines narrowed Fallbrook’s lead to 4-3 by halftime. Fallbrook had a 5-4 advantage after three periods.

“We kind of outlasted them,” Lamont said. “We were happy to get away with a win.”

Lamont believes that a significant factor was the team’s success on extra-player opportunities following 20-second penalties. Fallbrook converted two of four extra-player situations into goals while the Falcons were successful on only one of eight advantages.

Fallbrook goalie Sydney Fitzpatrick, who leads the CIF San Diego Section in saves, made 11 saves against Torrey Pines.

“Beating Torrey Pines kind of puts us in the driver’s seat,” Lamont said. “We have to beat them again in their pool, but even if we don’t we’ll be co-champs.”

The Warriors can’t look past the other Avocado League opponents to focus on the rematch with Torrey Pines (which will actually take place at the UCSD pool February 10), but Fallbrook won its sixth consecutive game and improved to 4-0 in Avocado League competition after an 18-3 home win January 23 over La Costa Canyon.

“We had two great games,” Lamont said. “ a good week for us.”

Since La Costa Canyon’s junior varsity team was in a tournament, Fallbrook brought up some JV players as substitutes for the varsity regulars.

“They needed the higher level of competition,” Lamont said. “I’m happy with what they bring to the team.”

The call up to the varsity will be permanent for sophomore Jackie Verdon and junior Jessica Kohls based on their performance against the Mavericks.

Fallbrook led the Mavericks by a 7-0 margin after one period and 15-0 after halftime. The score was 17-0 after three periods.

Fitzpatrick made nine saves against the Mavericks to bring her season total to 127.

The win over La Costa Canyon gave Fallbrook a 10-5 overall season record as well as a 4-0 Avocado League mark. The season win total exceeds that for the entire 2007-08 season, when the Warriors finished 9-18.

“As long as we can keep it going, we’ll be where we want to be at the end of the season,” Lamont said.

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