Dons return favor to Chargers, plus some

Preston Schlagel led the Dons in scoring with four goals on the afternoon. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Preston Schlagel’s four goals, three steals and two assists were the leading force for Santa Barbara’s boys water polo team on Tuesday, as the Dons handed the Chargers their first Channel League loss of the season in an 11-5 decision.

Three of Schlagel’s scores came in the third quarter, helping the Dons go up 10-4. Santa Barbara had also grabbed a 6-1 lead early on, taking much of the drama out of the rivalry game.

“He’s a really good player,” said Dons head coach Mark Walsh of Schlagel. “He goes a little unnoticed just cause, like I said, he’s usually setting up other people. But he’s got a good wrist and shoots the ball really well.”

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The Chargers had won the previous league match between the two teams 5-3, but were playing without starter Blake Parrish on Tuesday. Parrish is only a freshman but has been an impact player for the Chargers this season.

“He can guard our team’s best player and keep him from scoring, and then he can go down, and we have to double team him to keep him from scoring, so he’s a total difference maker,” explained Walsh.

Sjors Van Alphen stepped up in Parrish’s absence, accounting for four of the Chargers’ five goals. Two of Van Alphen’s goals came after the Dons had taken their biggest lead of the match at 10-3. Grant Schroeder scored DP’s other goal.

“I just think they got tired. I just think they got tired of beating us down the pool,” half-joked Chargers head coach Chris Parrish. “I mean, why work that hard when you got a six-point lead.”

Sean McGee had a strong day defending the cage for the Dons. Santa Barbara’s keeper tallied nine saves, three steals and three assists. Evan Robertson and Skyler Matthews were active on offense for Santa Barbara with five goals between the two of them. Robertson also drew a team-high three ejections. Sophomore Cristian Bridley added a single goal and three steals.

Each team now holds a 6-1 league record with one league match remaining. If the standings hold up, it would be Santa Barbara’s first league title since 2008 while the Chargers have won or shared the title the past two seasons.

On Thursday, Dos Pueblos faces Buena while the Dons travel to Ventura. The Chargers also compete on Friday in a non-league match versus Royal.

SANTA BARBARA 11, DOS PUEBLOS 5

Dos Pueblos 1 2 1 1 – 5

Santa Barbara 4 2 4 1 – 11

DP Scorers – Van Alphen 4, Schroeder 1

SB Scorers – Schlagel 4, Robertson 3, Matthews 2, Bridley, Johnson

DP Saves – Bates 10

SB Saves – McGee 9

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