Mira Costa’s girls water polo team splashed their way to victory against El Segundo High School with an intense fight, beginning the season with an action filled game.
The Mustangs defeated El Segundo 11-7 on Monday in their first home game of the season. Top performers were sophomore Leigh Lyter with three goals and sophomore Dylan Read scoring two goals making their contribution to the score with incredible offense while keeping their opponents in check with aggressive defense.
“We had to focus more on our offense and scoring more goals to gain a bigger lead,” Read said. “In the last half, we pulled it together and shut down their key players and eventually got a big enough lead.”
The first quarter started with a goal by Leigh Lyter, scored in the first thirty seconds, but El Segundo quickly responded with a goal. Leigh Lyter finished the quarter with another goal making the score 2-1.
“My sister and I started the game out strong, having alike minds is really helpful when playing sports or working together,” Leigh Lyter said. “But, I definitely think we could of played better during this game with better communication skills and passes.”
In the second quarter, Leigh Lyter attempted to score but was ultimately blocked. Fortunately, Camille Lyter managed to score a goal off the block. El Segundo followed with two goals in this quarter, one being a penalty shot. Ending the quarter tied 3-3.
“Like in any game, defense has to react to what offense is doing,” Camille Lyter said. “Once we figured out that El Segundo was forcing the pass to set, we crashed and started stealing the ball and shutting down their offense. We then focused on finishing our possessions in offense, and tied the game.”
In the third quarter, Leigh Lyter found the back of the goal, while El Segundo scored another goal. Sophomore Celeste Almendariz scores a corner shot and immediately after her teammate freshman Maiken Pardov makes a goal. El Segundo also added to the score with a goal, ending the quarter 6-5.
“I think the whole team including me wanted to get a bigger lead in the third quarter so whenever one of us was open we had to shoot it,” Almendariz said. “After an ejection was called I was open and I got the ball and shot it, thankfully it went in and I think it helped start the momentum for our team again.”
In the last quarter, Read scored two sequential goals, and El Segundo retailed with another goal. Camille Lyter slips in a goal, but the opponent responds quickly with another shot. Emma May and Almendariz finished the game with each of them making a goal. The game ended with the Mustangs winning with a score of 11-7.
“I think that we played well today, but we still have a lot to improve on, but that will come with time as we play more games together,” Read said. “I think that our team will work well together and I think we will go far this season.”
The girls will next play at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, against Esperanza High School at home. The girls are excited to work hard for success and ready for a great season, Leigh Lyter said.
“I would say that our team this year shows promise and we have set goals that we plan on accomplishing this year,” Leigh Lyter said.