Islanders Lose To Dons 4-3 In Playoffs - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Islanders Lose To Dons 4-3 In Playoffs

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Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015 5:23 pm

CIF Winter Sports Playoffs are in now in high gear and last Saturday the No. 3 seeded Islander Girls Water Polo Team took to the pool at the La Jolla Coggan Family Center to face No. 6 seeded Cathedral Catholic in the Open Division Quarter-Finals. It marked the fourth time the two teams had faced each other this season, including twice in Western League play, with Coronado earning one-goal victories in each of the first three confrontations.

Unfortunately for the Islanders, there would be no four-peat over Cathedral, as the Dons prevailed 4-3 to advance to face Carlsbad in the Semi-Finals. Coronado’s other Western League rivals La Jolla and The Bishop’s School will square off in the other Semi-Final.

The feeling from watching the game was the Islanders couldn’t generate or sustain momentum against the Dons. The first quarter was scoreless and although Coronado’s offense didn’t light up the scoreboard, their defensive effort was first-rate.

Cathedral Catholic gained the upper hand in the contest by scoring two man-up goals at the outset of the second quarter, at the 5:38 mark and again quickly at the 4:44 mark. The Islanders countered with a man-up goal of their own by Anna Makridis on an assist from Jennifer Hanling to make the score 2-1. Just about as soon as it seemed Coronado was back in the game, Cathedral scored their third goal of the quarter, with just 21 seconds left before the halftime intermission. Senior goalkeeper Shannon Spence was credited with four saves in the first half. Junior Hannah Storum was in goal for the entire second half for Coronado.

As the teams switched ends of the pool, Coronado seemed to have the better of the play during the initial portion of the third quarter. With 2:59 remaining, Carolyn Gauvin scored on a well-placed, back-handed sweep shot on an assist from McNeilly Fieweger and again Coronado got to within one goal. Ninety seconds later Cathedral scored to take a 4-2 lead into the final quarter.

At this point the pace of play picked up considerably and at the 4:08 mark Mackenzie Wiley scored a transition goal via a long outlet pass from Storum to make the score 4-3. There was no scoring by either team for the balance of the game. Storum was credited with five saves and the Islanders defense held the Dons to just one goal in the second half. The man-up statistics were somewhat unusual as Coronado was 1-3 in their scoring opportunities, while Cathedral was 2-8 in their man-ups, including a 0-4 mark in the second half. One note of optimism was that of the six Islanders involved in scoring their three goals, four will return to the team next year. Markakis, Gauvin and Storum are all juniors, while Hanling is a sophomore.

Islander Head Coach Dave Throop said of his team, “It’s unfortunate to see the season end the way it did. The cliché holds true that only one team gets to finish their season with a victory. For this group not to experience that during this season is the only disappointment that we share. We could’ve played better, but we never quit and we fought until the very end. Truthfully this is a great group of girls and I was very fortunate that they would allow me to work with them. Our team goal at the start of the season was to be the best team we could become and get to the Championship Finals knowing that anything can happen. While we fell short of that one goal obviously, we still were a great, great team. They’re all good students, great teammates and most importantly, exceptional people.”

On another piece of good news from the program is that Spence was signed to a National Letter of Intent to play for the NCAA No. 8 ranked San Jose Spartans next year. Spence is a member of a signing class that included 10 athletes signed by Head Coach Johnny Bega and she was the only goalie among the new signees.

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