Sports

Final Four finish for NorCal 18U girls at Junior Olympics

Stanford 16U team reaches the top 10 in its age group

The NorCal 18U girls' water polo team didn't have much time to celebrate its best finish ever at the Junior Olympics in Los Angeles.

The group finished fourth in its age group on Sunday, flew home Monday and will be heading to the Hawaiian Invitational on Tuesday.

Come to think of it, a nice trip to Hawaii may be just the thing to help untangle those nerves and relieve the stress. Then again, NorCal is the defending girls' 18U and Women's Open champion in the Hawaiian event. A little business, a little R & R for a club which had its best previous finish in the Junior Olympics two years ago, placing 13th.

"By any measure this has been the most successful NorCal team ever," coach Chris Dorst said.

Atherton resident Hathaway Moore, who will be playing at Michigan in the fall, led NorCal (4-2-1) with 13 goals during the Junior Olympics. Menlo-Atherton grad Becca Dorst, headed for UCLA, added 12 goals. M-A senior Emily Dorst proved vital in the goal, making several significant saves.

NorCal opened its year with a championship at the BC (British Columbia) Open in January, followed by a third place finish at the Alberta Open, and a second-place showing at the Cal Cup.

The team opened the tournament with two wins, 19-1, over Modesto-Stanislaus, and 5-2 over the Florida Raider club.

NorCal followed that with a 20-0 pasting of Stanford White and tied Newport 7-7. The club won its bracket on a goal difference and advanced to the quarterfinals.

NorCal reached the semifinals with an 11-10 win over San Diego Shores, and then ran into the eventual champion LA Water Polo, losing 9-6. Santa Barbara edged NorCal, 8-7, in the third-place contest.

Other team members include Rachel Henry, who scored nine goals, Kelsey Nolan (7), Audrey Pratt (7), Jennifer Talbott, M-A grads Hannah Breen and Vanessa Lane, Kat Elward, Castilleja senior Barbara Peterson, Caitlin "KK" Sandlin, Allegra Tringali, Erin Glenn, and Sacred Heart Prep grad Heather Smith.

Stanford Red 16U

The Stanford water polo club team coached by Kyle Utsumi recorded an overall finish of tenth in the platinum division.

Palo Alto's Skylar Dorosin led the team in scoring on the first day of the tournament, helping Stanford reach the second round unscathed.

Sacred Heart Prep's Pippa Temple was part of the reason Stanford won its third straight to open the tournament before falling into the 9-16 bracket after losing to Xtreme.

A shootout win over Santa Barbara, 7-6, it was 4-4 after regulation, put Stanford into the ninth-place game.

Stanford Red took a 4-1 lead over Pacific Zone rival 680 Drivers, but fell 9-6 to finish 10th.

"(Gunn's) Elizabeth Anderson drew the role of defensive stopper as we advanced through the tournament and did a great job," said Utsumi, who also credited Palo Alto's Martine Leclerc and Gunn's Lauren Lesyna for their contributions.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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