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Mater Dei defeats Harvard-Westlake, 8-6, extends water polo streak

Monarchs bounce back from a 6-2 deficit in the third period to earn the victory, their 93rd in a row dating to 2010.

October 15, 2013|Eric Sondheimer

Johnny Hooper, the junior water polo standout at Studio City Harvard-Westlake High, didn't hide his emotions Tuesday night after the Wolverines came close to ending Santa Ana Mater Dei's unbeaten streak of more than three years.

"It really hurts,'' he said. "It stings to have lost that game."

Harvard-Westlake (13-2), ranked No. 2 in Southern Section Division 1, fell to the Monarchs, 8-6, in a game it led, 6-2, in the third period at Mater Dei. But the inexperience of the youthful Wolverines combined with stellar play from 6-foot-8 Mater Dei goalie McQuinn Baron got the top-ranked Monarchs (14-0) going in a dominating fourth-period performance.

Nick Silvers scored consecutive goals and Jake Sanders scored one goal to spark the Monarchs' comeback in a game that had so many top players that USA national team coaches from the men's and women's teams were in attendance.

"I'm proud of the guys at their composure," Mater Dei Coach Chris Segesman said.

With pressure building in the fourth period and Harvard-Westlake clinging to a 6-4 lead, Mater Dei took command. Baron, who had 13 saves, kept frustrating the Wolverines, and Silvers was able to unleash two powerful shots that got past goalie Anthony Ridgley.

Harvard-Westlake's only losses this season have been to Mater Dei, which won its 93rd consecutive game dating to 2010. The two schools are expected to play again.

"It's the second of probably four battles," Segesman said. "We'll probably see them in two weeks [at a tournament]. The games keep getting better and better."

Hooper, who led Harvard-Westlake with three goals, vows to do all he can to reverse the Wolverines' fortunes.

"We had the game and let the crowd and emotion get us," he said. "We couldn't pull through. I promise you we will win the CIF game. I will be at every practice working my teammates as hard as I can so that we can win CIF."

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