The top-ranked Laguna Beach High girls' water polo team closed out 2013 with a victory, as the Breakers rolled to an 18-4 win over San Clemente Tuesday at Capistrano Valley High.
Junior utility Makenzie Fischer, in her first game back in the Breakers' lineup this year, netted a game-high seven goals to go along with two assists and three steals. She also drew seven ejections.
Fischer had missed Laguna's previous four games while playing in two December tournaments with the USA Water Polo Women's Senior National Team.
Freshman attacker Bella Baldridge also had a big game with three goals, three assists and five steals. Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said junior attacker Brighid Burnes (four goals), "shot the ball really well," and that sophomore attacker Natalie Selin, "did what she does [best]," scoring three goals on the counterattack.
"Our goalies looked really sharp in a game where we played really well offensively," Damato said of keepers, senior Jenna Knott (four saves) and sophomore Holly Parker (six saves). "Our goalies stayed focused regardless of the score, and both looked really good."
Laguna, No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, heads into the New Year with a 5-0 record.
"It was great to have (Fischer) "Fisch" back in the water and to be a bit closer to full strength," Damato said. "She was in attack mode all game and had a great game.
"I thought the team looked good and had some really bright moments throughout the game. It was a great effort in beating a good San Clemente group. I'm excited to see how we play this weekend in the Holiday Cup."
The Breakers open the Newport Holiday Cup Friday against Carlsbad at Santa Margarita High.
The tournament concludes Saturday.
"The Holiday Cup is one of the premier high school events of the year," Damato said. "It will be a big test for us and a tournament we will use to gauge where we are in [Division 1]. We are ranked at the top of bracket and will have to play two good teams to get to the semis. If we can get there, we will likely see [Corona del Mar], or, Santa Margarita which will be a great test for us.
"We have failed to make the semis the last two years, so that will be goal No. 1. Goal No. 2, win our first big tournament together. We have never won the Holiday Cup, Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, or the Irvine (SoCal Championships) tournament, so that will be something we will be shooting for this year."
The annual Laguna Beach High boys' soccer alumni game was played Monday at Guyer Field. The current varsity team came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit, to edge the alumni squad, 3-2.
Alumni in attendance included Tristan Bower (Class of 2006), Johnny Vasquez (2008), Noah Michelon (2009), Class of 2011 members Drew Wheeler, Vinny Cano and Miguel Jaimes, Class of 2012 members Alec Williams, Joseph Rousseau, Miles Shirley, Brogan O'Bryan, Paolo Noppenberger, Jackson Yamasaki, Davis Matthews, and Zach LeBon, and Class of 2013 members Reece Barton, Jonathan Sanchez, Bryce Williamson and Matthew Finkelstein.
"The alumni game is always a lot of fun and a great chance for the current players to see former players from the program," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "The match is always competitive and an excellent chance for the varsity team to get a run-out in before the league season begins [next month].
"It was great to see such a good turnout from the alumni with graduating classes being represented all the way from 2006 to 2013."
The current Breakers squad, idle since Dec. 20, play their first game of the New Year Wednesday at home against Saddleback Valley Christian in their final nonleague game.
Laguna starts Orange Coast League play Jan. 15 at Saddleback.
The Laguna girls' program will play host to its annual alumni match at 11 a.m. Saturday at Guyer Field. Girls' Coach Bill Rolfing said all alumni players are welcome to attend the game.
Laguna went on a recent trip to the desert for a pair of nonleague games, and split their two matches.
In a Dec. 27 game against host Xavier Prep, Laguna dropped a 1-0 decision. On Saturday, the Breakers rebounded to defeat host Indio, 2-1.
The Breakers outshot Xavier Prep but couldn't find the net in the one-goal loss. Against Indio, junior Paige Vitolo scored the first Laguna goal off an assist from sophomore defender Hannah Budroe. The second Laguna goal came when sophomore midfielder Summer Stanaland scored off an assist from senior midfielder Johana Abarca.
Laguna is 3-4-2 overall.
The Breakers play two nonleague matches next week starting with a 5 p.m. Tuesday nonleague match at Woodbridge. They play host to Ocean View at 6 p.m. Thursday in another nonleague game.