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Seven Warriors earn all-league water polo honors , Three named to first team

The Avocado League coaches’ meeting February 23 saw seven members of the Fallbrook High School girls water polo team earn all-league honors for the 2008-09 season.

Seniors Sydney Fitzpatrick, Neika Maryn, and Nicole Walker were given first-team recognition, sophomore Dana Barrett and senior Dana Tobey received second-team distinction, and junior Cassie Dowden and senior Kat Majdick were named honorable mention all-league players.

“They all had earned it, certainly, and worked hard to get them,” said Fallbrook coach Bob Lamont.

Fallbrook shared the Avocado League championship after compiling a 9-1 record in league competition. The Warriors split two matches with Torrey Pines, the other team to share the league title. The Warriors then advanced to the CIF Division I quarterfinals before losing to top-seeded Vista and finished the 2008-09 season with an 18-10 overall record.

Fitzpatrick, the Warriors’ goalie, made 217 saves during the season. “She was mainly responsible for directing the defense,” Lamont said.

Fitzpatrick had a save percentage of 53 percent. “She put up a tremendous save percentage,” Lamont said.

Lamont also noted Fitzpatrick’s pinpoint passing during counterattacks. “She set up a lot of our offense going the other way,” Lamont said.

Walker led the team with 80 goals and also led the Warriors with 80 steals. “I thought that was really interesting as an indicator that she was really hustling up and back,” Lamont said. “Tremendous effort in my opinion.”

Maryn led the team with 43 assists. Lamont noted that the team converted half of its extra-player situations, which is the highest conversion rate in Lamont’s five seasons (he is new to the girls program but has spent four seasons as the Fallbrook High School boys water polo coach).

The normal rate, Lamont notes, is just above 40 percent. “This team was very strong in that particular aspect of the game, and a lot of that was due to the ability of Neika to read the defense and get the ball to the open player.”

The composition of the all-league teams will require Lamont to replace five of his seven all-league players for the 2009-10 season. “While it will be a growing year for us, I wouldn’t count us out, either,” he said. “You’re talking about a JV team that had two losses last year, both of which were to Coronado.”

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