The Carmel High boys water polo team still had its program-building win from four days earlier very much in their minds for Wednesday evening’s Central Coast Section Division II opening-round game.
But as they showed in the opening period, they were also fully engaged with their opponent at hand.
The Padres, who earned a share of the Monterey Bay League Gabilan title by ending Soquel’s 91-game league winning streak, played a near-perfect first period and went on to defeat rival Stevenson 15-7.
“I still have that memory burned into my head,” said Carmel’s Trey Coppinger of Saturday’s win over the Knights. “And so do my teammates. It’s something we’re never going to forget.
“We could have overlooked this game, but coach [Aaron] Gaily always tells us to never fear an opponent, but always respect them. We got it going early and it worked out in our favor.”
The Padres, the No. 6 seed, answered the opening bell, jumping out out to an 8-2 lead. The eight goals came on 11 possessions, and the defense was equally up to the task.
“That starting group came out clicking,” Gaily said.
Carmel would go on to hold at least a seven-goal lead for the rest of the match. It was the first time these two schools separated by less than four miles have met because of league realignments.
The Padres improved to 22-6 and advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal where they’ll meet No. 3 Los Altos (16-11) time and site to be determined.
Stevenson, the MBL Pacific co-champs, finished the season at 15-10.
Gaily said he was a little concerned that the jubilation of the win over Soquel could turn into some over-confidence, but his group showed the same focus and determination it’s had all season.
“We have history with Stevenson, and it’s always a battle when we play each other,” Gaily said. “It was good that we didn’t try to recreate the performance from Saturday; we just played our good fundamental game. We worked hard and played with respect.”
Carmel has now won 10 of its last 12 matches.
“We’re really playing well enough to compete with some of those upper echelon programs,” Gaily said.
Coppinger led the Padres, scoring a career-high eight goals. Zach Olivas finished with three goals, Chimay Skinner had two goals and a couple nice assists. Sam Sunde came up with nine saves in the game and defender Ken Doo had four steals.
Stevenson’s Logan Fannin had three goals and three steals and Allen Kan, Andrew Arnold, Galen Manhard, Oleg Kozel all scored one goal. Goalie Connor Loken finished with seven saves.
Girls water polo
Division II, Santa Catalina 8, Willow Glen 7: At Carmel, Colleen Boensel scored the game-winner in sudden-death triple overtime to carry the Cougars into the quarterfinals.
It was the first and only time No. 9 Santa Catalina (18-8) led the entire game.
No. 8 Willow Glen finished the season 15-6. Next up for the Cougars is a match-up Saturday with top-seed Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton at a time and site to be determined.
Boensel, who also scored with 11 seconds remaining in the second overtime to extend the match, finished with four goals, two assists and three steals.
Laila Joseph had two goals and an assist, Allie Loomis one goal, one assist and three steals and Kendra Hoffman one goal and five steals.
Division II, Presentation 8, Monterey 4: At Carmel, the Toreadores were out-scored 6-1 in the middle two periods, sending them to a loss in their CCS opener.
Monterey, the No. 11 seed, finished the season at 20-6. Presentation improved to 15-10.
Shannon Cry had two goals and three steals for the Toreadores and Colleen Mayone had one goal and four steals.
Live Oak 3, Monterey 1: At Live Oak (Morgan Hill) the No. 8 Acorns beat the No. 9 Toreadores 23-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-17 in CCS opening-round action in Division III.
For Monterey, Sasha Krnic had 10 kills and Aurora Chun five kills.
The Toreadores finished 12-20 overall, and were second in the MBL Pacific Division.
“It was a great season — we got stronger as season went on,” Monterey coach David Swartz said. “It was a big turnaround from 2011.”
Mercy Burlingame 3, King City 0: At Castilleja High (Palo Alto) The No. 10 seeded Mustangs fell 21-25, 23-25, 23-25 to the No. 7 Crusaders in their CCS D-IV opener.
For King City, Sarah Shepherd had 15 kills and two blocks, Allyson Hughes eight kills and four blocks and Jessica Davis 11 kills, 17 digs, two blocks, four aces. King City finished the year 17-12 overall.
Harker 3, Carmel, 0; At Harker High School (San Jose), the No. 5 seeded Eagles swept the No. 12 Padres 25-14, 25-16, 25-18 in D-IV play.
Carmel ended the season 20-15 overall. Carmel seniors Emma Fuzie had nine kills, Alex Burns six digs, and Parker Levinson two service points. “It was a great year, a good learning experience for everybody,” Carmel coach Israel Ricardez said.
Los Altos 13, Carmel 5: At Los Altos, the Padres were done in by depth in their second loss of the season — to the only team that beat them all year — and were eliminated from the CCS tournament.
In their second round matches Wednesday, the No. 8 seeded Eagles (14-8) were led by their new No. 1 — Kacey Incerpi. “I think that was the decisive thing,” Carmel coach Michael Zury said. “The No. 1 added more depth, and the depth made the difference.”
For the Padres, No. 3 Lexi Snyder came back from being down 5-1 and won 7-5; No. 2 Megan Scannell was 2-1 and No. 1 Kaylan Griffith went 1-2.
Looking back on the seasonZury expressed great satisfaction with his squad, a young team he vows will be back next year.
Carmel finished the year at 20-2 and winner of the Mission Trail Athletic League for the first time since 1993.
Menlo 13, Santa Catalina 3: At Menlo, the Cougars finished the season with a 13-4 mark.