San Marcos High climaxed a string of upsets in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 girls water polo playoffs by pulling out a 4-3 victory over Dos Pueblos on Saturday night in front to a capacity crowd at DP’s Elings Aquatic Center.
San Marcos (19-10) never trailed in ending the 28-game winning streak of the top-ranked Chargers (29-2). Goalie Sophia Trumbull backed up the strong defensive effort by the Royals with 15 saves.
The Royals led 2-0 at halftime on goals by Fiona Kuesis and Ella Prentice. Ryann Neushul got the Chargers back in the game during the third quarter. She fired a shot off the post that her cousin, Thea Neushul, put back into the goal to make it 2-1. A backhand shot by Ryann Neushul tied the score. Sarah Owens put the Royals back in front, but Olivia Kistler countered for the Chargers, and the score was tied 3-3 at the end of the period.
Piper Smith’s power-play goal midway through the final quarter was the winning score. Trumbull made three saves, the final one with 20 seconds left, as she deflected Abbi Hill’s outside shot off the crossbar and secured the ball.
Coach Chuckie Roth joined the entire team in the pool as the Royals celebrated their first CIF water polo title. They were seeded No. 7 in the elite eight playoffs and proceeded to knock off three teams that had defeated them in the regular season: Laguna Beach, Mater Dei, and Dos Pueblos.