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Dons' Channel-Surfing Days Over

January 26, 2002|Dan Arritt

Ten days after posting one of the biggest upsets of the season, Santa Barbara received a shock of its own Tuesday.

The Dons, who had not lost a Channel League game since the sport debuted in the 1996-97 season, let a two-goal halftime lead slip away against Ventura and lost, 7-6, at Ventura High, ending their league winning streak at 37 games.

Ventura Coach Mark Schmidt had scouted Santa Barbara several times this season, including the Dons' upset over then second-ranked Santa Margarita in the semifinals of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions on Jan. 12, and liked his team's chances.

Now, he can sit back and enjoy the ride when Ventura travels to Santa Barbara for their final league meeting Feb. 7.

"What's good is it puts the pressure on them now," Schmidt said. "If we had lost, it would have been tough to go to their place and get a victory."

Ventura goalkeeper Addie Reyes had a strong game against Santa Barbara (12-5, 3-1), which began this week ranked fourth by The Times. She stopped 11 shots, including four in the last five minutes.

The Cougars (16-4, 4-0 in league) trailed, 6-5, at the start of the fourth quarter and got a big lift when Santa Barbara's Lauren Boreta, the Channel League player of the year last season, fouled out with just under six minutes remaining. Three seconds later, Ventura's Solange Webster tied the score off an assist from Elizabeth Derse.

Reyes kept the Dons in check for several possessions before Dolores Johnson scored the go-ahead goal, her third of the game, with 56 seconds remaining.


Bring it on: Bell Gardens is having a difficult time finding good competition lately. The Lancers (19-0) thought they might get pushed by Montebello on Tuesday in an Almont League game, but scored nine goals in the first quarter and cruised, 18-5, at Bell Gardens.

"Some of the teams in our league are so bad, we're trying to find a way not to score but still play water polo," Coach Robert Greenamyer said.

The three-time defending Southern Section Division III champions get their biggest test next week at the Southern California Championships at Irvine's Heritage Park. It will be the Lancers' first opportunity to play top-ranked Santa Ana Foothill since the Knights ended Bell Gardens' 85-game winning streak at the same tournament last season.


Against all odds: Agoura has only one starter from last season's team that beat Santa Barbara for the Division II title, but that didn't prevent the Chargers from clinching a share of their fourth consecutive Marmonte League title with a 12-1 victory over visiting Simi Valley Royal on Tuesday.

"We thought we might have a down year after graduating nine girls from last year's team," Coach Jason Rosenthal said. "But we're coming together at the right time."

Agoura (15-4, 6-0) can clinch the title outright with a victory at Thousand Oaks on Tuesday.


Dan Arritt

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