Empty first half stops Royals in wild card round

One of the best seasons in San Marcos girls water polo history came to a sudden halt on Tuesday as the Royals came up empty early on and fell to visiting El Toro 9-7 in the wild-card round of the CIF Division I playoffs.

Jade Wentz-Fitzgerald, who will play for San Diego State next year, scored four goals, but San Marcos went scoreless in the first half. El Toro, meanwhile scored four goals over the first two quarters and staved off the Royals’ surge after the break.

Justin Morgan scored the only goal of the first half with 3:30 left in the first period, and the Chargers sent numerous other shots off the post before halftime.

Wentz-Fitgerald finally got San Marcos (19-9) on the board with 3:25 to go in the third quarter to make it 4-1, but El Toro answered in less than a minute. Hannah Koper and Wentz-Fitzgerald scored in succession to cut the El Toro lead to 5-3.

The Chargers (17-14) kept responding with goals of their own. San Marcos’ Brittny Hummel score the last goal of the game with a minute left, but it was too late to keep the Royals’ resurgent season alive.

Royals goalie Mallry Zaunius had seven saves in the game.


San Marcos…0  0  3  4 — 7

El Toro…1  3  2  3 — 9

Goals — ET: Morgan 3, Adair 3, Skaggs 2, Henry 1. SM: Went-Fitzgerald 4, HKoper 2, Hummel 1. Goalie saves — ET: Browning 10, SM: Zaunius 7. Records — ET 17-14, SM 19-9.