Redlands can’t solve goalkeeper

first_imgLONG BEACH – Redlands found a way past Murrieta Valley’s seemingly impenetrable defense in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section water polo final. The Terriers just couldn’t find a way around goalkeeper Kristen Stragier. The Nighthawks senior came up with 16 saves on 30 Redlands shots, Sydney Sonoda and Torrey Kylander both recorded a hat trick and top-seeded Murrieta Valley won its 28th consecutive game, 11-3, at the expense of No. 3 Redlands at Belmont Plaza Pool. Murrieta Valley won for the third time in a record four trips to the CIF-SS Division V girls finals. “I’ve only taken home one plaque that says champion; it’d be nice to take a couple more home like that,” said Redlands coach Matt Fry, whose program won in 2000 and lost in 2004 and 2005. “On the other hand, we are consistent. We can get back here and we’ve proven ourselves to be a perennial power.” Just not as powerful as the Nighthawks this year. Murrieta lost in the finals a year ago to Riverside Arlington only to rebound furiously in 2007. The Nighthawks won their second consecutive undefeated Southwestern League title, outscored their opponents by 40 goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs and shook off an early goal from sophomore Doris Tran to roll to a 5-1 lead at the half. Stragier made seven saves on Redlands’ eight shots in the second quarter alone and the Nighthawks defense – which zoned and dropped on set all night – limited the Terriers’ playmakers from lining up high-percentage shots. Tran scored twice and freshman Danielle Adams scored once. Senior Brooke Vessey, who scored three goals in a semifinals win over Temecula Chaparral, was shut out, as was junior Sharon Dyer (four goals in the semis). center_img “It was just the adrenaline going and the want to win,” Stragier said. “We didn’t want a relapse of last year.” Said Fry: “A lot of it was just their goalie. We were getting the ball into (Vessey) and she was getting shots off. A lot of it was high on her shooting today, but a lot of it was just their goalie.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more