It's not the way Sacred Heart Prep would have liked to finish its stay in the St. Francis girls water polo Invitational over the weekend though reaching the championship game was a good thing.
The Gators, in a rematch of last year's Central Coast Section Open Division championship game, lost to Leland 14-5 on Saturday. SH Prep lost 8-6 in last year's title game.
The Chargers (9-0) extended their winning streak against CCS teams to 34 straight. The last time Leland lost to a CCS team was to Sacred Heart Prep, 9-5, at the NorCal Invitational on Oct. 21, 2016.
The Gators (4-2) edged Soquel, 5-4, in the semifinals when Eleanor Facey scored midway through the fourth period, getting an assist from Annabel Facey.
SHP goalie Nellie McAdams recorded two of her 12 saves in the final 2:43 to help preserve the victory. Alexandra Szczerba and Eleanor Facey each recorded key steals down the stretch and Annabel Facey recorded a field block.
Szczerba scored twice in the contest while Ella Woodhead had a goal and an assist and Isabella Bachler also scored.
Against Leland, Bachler scored with 5:11 remaining to play in the third period, getting an assist from Annabel Facey, to bring the Gators within 6-4 of the Chargers. Leland finished the game with an 8-1 run.
Leland outshot SHP by a 29-14 margin, though the Gators limited the Chargers to 2 of 11 on power plays. SH Prep did not convert any of its eight power plays.
Sacred Heart Prep returns to West Catholic Athletic League action with a 6 p.m. home game against St. Ignatius on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Castilleja won twice on Saturday to finish fifth at the Invitational, beating Clovis West, 11-5 and Arroyo Grande, 11-9.
Minhee Chung scored six goals for the Gators (5-2) against Arroyo Grande. Castilleja recovered from a 5-3 halftime deficit to earn the win. Claire Pisani added three goals.
Pisani scored four goals in the victory over Clovis West as the Gators started strong, opening a 9-2 halftime edge. Chung added three goals and Anjali Kambham had two.
Castilleja hosts Menlo-Atherton at 3 p.m. Wednesday in a Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division contest.
The Bears also participated in the Invitational.