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PREP WATER POLO PLAYOFFS

This Time, Eagles Do the Ousting

November 11, 2000|MELANIE NEFF

Santa Margarita got a little revenge in the first round of the Southern Section Division II water polo playoffs by defeating El Dorado, 18-8, Friday at Saddleback College.

It was a rematch of last season's first-round game, in which the Golden Hawks ousted the Eagles, 8-7, en route to an appearance in the quarterfinals.

The fourth-seeded Eagles are a much-improved team this season, and Coach Peter Asic was comfortable going into Friday's game as his team had soundly defeated El Dorado earlier in the season.

The Golden Hawks had momentum on their side after a 10-9 upset of sixth-ranked San Clemente last week; the Eagles hadn't played a game in more than a week.

It didn't take long, however, to see that Asic and Santa Margarita (19-7) had nothing to worry about, as they jumped out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead, thanks to seven El Dorado turnovers.

Santa Margarita's Nick Nolan fought off several Golden Hawk defenders in the post and scored three of his five goals in the first quarter.

The Eagle defense kept El Dorado off balance the entire game, forcing sloppy passes and bad shots. The Golden Hawks committed 17 turnovers and fell behind, 12-4, heading into the fourth quarter. Garrett Marquis led the Eagles with four steals.

El Dorado was led by Mike Lee with four goals and six steals.

Santa Margarita will play Laguna Beach in the second round on Wednesday.

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