Edison girls' water polo coach Diggy Riley knew it'd be a tough week for the Chargers.
Starting with a pair of nonleague games last weekend, Edison would face the Nos. 4-5-6 ranked teams in CIF Southern Section Division 1 over a five-day period. That string ended Tuesday at the Ocean View High pool as the Chargers, themselves ranked eighth in the division, were handed a 15-7 loss by sixth-ranked Laguna Beach.
Combined with losses to fourth-ranked Santa Barbara (13-6), and fifth-ranked Dos Pueblos (13-2), the three setbacks left Edison at 3-3.
"It was a difficult stretch for us, for sure," Riley said. "I think that mentally we are in a little bit of a funk right now, especially on the defensive side. But that's something that is correctable. We will work on those things in practice and we will be ready for our league opener in a few weeks against Los Alamitos. Counting the tournament (Newport Harbor Holiday Cup), we still have a really tough schedule coming up."
Edison never led against a Laguna team that is 4-0 and on Friday defeated Mater Dei, the top-ranked team in Division 2. The Chargers trailed, 5-2, after one quarter and got to within, 6-4, at the half. Laguna, however, scored the first three goals of the second half and started to pull away.
"That's a really good team right there," Riley said of the Breakers. "They are very solid. We gave up an easy shot to start the game but made a nice comeback in the second quarter and played really good defense. We missed a penalty shot when we were down, 6-4, in the second quarter, and that was big. It could have been closer going into the half."
Senior Alys Williams, who is heading on scholarship next year to UCLA, scored Edison's first two goals of the game. The score was tied at 2, but Laguna went on a 3-0 run over the final 3:48 of the quarter. The Breakers extended their lead to 6-2 in the first 38 seconds of the second quarter on a close-range goal by Mackenzie Baldridge.
The Chargers adjusted their defense, created turnovers and went on to shut out the Breakers the remaining 6:22 of the half. The Chargers were within 6-4 early in the quarter when Williams was fouled at five meters. Her penalty shot was stopped by Breakers goalie Jenna Knott with 5:05 left to play in the half.
Laguna used goals by Yoshi Andersen, Baldridge and Makenzie Fischer to build its lead to 9-4 less than four minutes into the second half. The Chargers drew to within 9-5 on a goal by Ashley Dorman and at 11-6 just before then end of the third quarter when Taylor Kunst scored on a man-up advantage for the Chargers.
Williams scored on a penalty shot three minutes into the fourth quarter to complete the scoring for Edison, which trailed at that point, 12-7.
The Chargers were guilty of 15 turnovers for the game.
"You can't do that against a team like Laguna and expect to win," Riley said. "Like I said, these are mistakes that we can work on in practice and correct."
Andersen led all scorers with five goals and also had four assists for Laguna.
Edison starts play next Dec. 29 at the Newport Harbor Holiday Cup. Laguna also is part of an event that will draw some of the top girls' programs in the Southern Section.
Ocean View: The Seahawks defeated Garden Grove, 2-1, in a Dec. 15 nonleague match. Freshman defender Casey Dooley and senior forward Melissa Cooley scored goals and Cooley and senior midfielder Kelley Dooley had assists. Freshman goalie Malia Hayes had five saves.
Ocean View inserted several junior varsity players in its Dec. 13 nonleague match against Savanna and the teams played to a scoreless tie. Senior goalie Leslie Gonzalez had six saves for the Seahawks, who had defeated the Rebels, 4-0, earlier this month.
The Seahawks, who were ranked second in the final CIF Southern Section poll of the year, are 8-1-1 entering the holiday break.
Fountain Valley: The Barons suffered a last-minute defeat against University after the visiting Trojans scored with 40 seconds left in the game to emerge with a 2-1 nonleague victory. Fountain Valley came back from a 1-0 deficit in the opening half to tie the score on a goal by Shelly Zito off a pass from Kaitlyn Clarke. Barons freshman goalie Alison Marlow recorded 11 saves.
Two local players, Cassie Strickland of Edison and Madie Williams of Ocean View, have been named All CIF Southern Section in girls' volleyball for 2011. Strickland, a senior outside hitter, made the Division 1AA team. Williams, a senior setter, was named to the Division 4AA team.
Boys' Water Polo
Senior Noah Harrison of Huntington Beach was named to the All-CIF Southern Section boys' Division 1 team and senior Steven Kornahrens of Ocean View was named to the Division 7 team for the 2011 season.