By Adam Stites/Garden Grove Journal
A successful season for the Garden Grove High School girl’s water polo team continued on Saturday as they won their first CIF playoff game with a 12-2 victory over the Don Lugo Conquistadores. The win advanced the #1 ranked Argonauts to a semifinal matchup against Katella on Wednesday.
The Argos, led by senior Kaitlyn Frain, breezed through league play undefeated and earned themselves a bye in the first round of the Division VII CIF bracket. With an 8-7 overtime victory over Summit, Don Lugo advanced to face Garden Grove.
Unfortunately for the Conquistadores, they were ill-prepared for Garden Grove’s leading scorer. By halftime, the Argos had rolled out to a 9-1 lead with all nine of their first half goals coming from Frain.
Prior to Saturday, Frain’s highest goal count of the season had been an eight-goal effort against Los Amigos. After taking a back seat role in the second half, Frain added no more goals and finished the game with nine, but the damage had already been done.
Garden Grove’s lead proved to be insurmountable with strong play from junior goalie, Brittany Noss. Noss allowed two goals from Don Lugo’s Camille Seariac, but produced 10 saves to preserve the lead.
Following the game, Garden Grove’s head coach Eric Henninger spoke of Frain’s impact on the team.
“When we need her, she’s everything and when we don’t she kind of sits back and lets other people get it done.”
Frain, however, was quick to deflect the praise to her teammates, “It was really a team effort so I couldn’t have done it without them.”
With just two victories standing between the Argonauts and a CIF championship title, Henninger still expects an even better performance than the one received from his team on Saturday.
“It’s great that [Frain]’s there to rebound, but you can’t count on that. People need to hit shots. That first quarter we threw, I think, six balls over the goal. Nobody else was hitting shots until the very end and that’s just not going to get it done.”
The Argonauts next game was against the Katella Knights (13-12, 4-3) at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Costa Mesa High School.