Mater Dei claims title at Santa Barbara Invitational

The Mater Dei defenders stack up in front of the goal during semifinal match against Loyola after an ejection of their goalie for a foul. (Photo by Vince Agapito)

Santa Barbara split a pair of one-goal games Saturday to finish 10th in its inaugural invitational water polo tournament.

The Dons held off San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic 10-9 in their first game in the morning and later fell to Laguna Beach 9-8 on a last-second goal by the Breakers.

Mater Dei, the defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion, trailed 4-3 to Agoura at halftime of the championship but clamped down on defense in the second half and put the Chargers away 13-7.

Brothers Jon and James Walters each scored four goals apiece and Kent Inoue added three for the Monarchs (5-0).

In the semifinals, Mater Dei outlasted Loyola 17-11 and Agoura shut down Miramonte 8-4.

Goalie Sean McGee saved Santa Barbara with some big stops against Cathedral Catholic. The Dons offense was spread around, with eight players scoring goals. Connor McManigal had two goals.

In the ninth-place game, Laguna Beach scored on a outside shot with 10 seconds left to beat the Dons 9-8. McGee had another big game in goal with 13 saves.

Cristian Bridley, Nick Johnson, Alec Linz and Evan Robertson each scored two goals and Connor McManigal had three assists.

Santa Barbara is 4-2 on the season.

Dos Pueblos picked up its first win of the year, beating Murrieta Valley 8-3 in the 15th-place game. The Chargers (1-6) lost a tough 6-5 decision to Sacred Heart earlier on Saturday.