Dons complete undefeated Channel League season


 

Cristian Bridley led Santa Barbara High with four goals in Thursday’s game at Dos Pueblos.

An undefeated Channel League season is in Santa Barbara High’s hands for the first time since 2006.

The Dons boys water polo team defeated Dos Pueblos 11-6 on Tuesday to complete the unbeaten season and enter the postseason having won four straight.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Dons senior Nate Hunter, who was one of eight Dons to score in Tuesday’s game. “This was one of our goals at the beginning of the season and we’ve been working every day for it. It just feels, to accomplish it, it’s something special.”

The Dons limited Dos Pueblos’ Blake Parrish to one goal, although the Chargers’ sophomore did draw a penalty shot and an ejection that led to Dos Pueblos goals. (Presidio Sports Photos)

It’s the Dons’ second straight league championship after having shared it with Dos Pueblos last season.

“Our league’s just been really difficult for a long time,” said Dons head coach Mark Walsh. “We just have a really good senior group that was talented when they came in as freshman. It’s nice to see them come in as seniors and finish it out.”

Dos Pueblos, which finished league play with a 5-3 record, was the last Channel League team to run the table in league play, doing so in 2010.

“For us to go undefeated and not lose focus and not get upset anywhere along the way was great,” Walsh said.

Santa Barbara’s final step to the unbeaten season was a relatively easy one. The Dons jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter.

“We just played really well that first quarter,” Walsh explained. “We hit some really nice shots. We were really sharing the ball, scoring in a variety of different ways.”

The five goals ended up being the difference in the game.

“Without that quarter it could have been a pretty close game,” Hunter said. “But that first quarter pushed us ahead and probably gave us the win.”

Santa Barbara led 7-1 at halftime but Dos Pueblos scored the first two goals of the third quarter to make it 7-3. Dos Pueblos would outscore Santa Barbara 5-4 in the second half.

Grant Schroeder scored all of his team-high four goals in the second half for the Chargers.

Cristian Bridley led Santa Barbara in scoring with four goals. Seven other Dons recorded a single goal.

Santa Barbara is the No. 2 team in Division 2 and Dos Pueblos is currently No. 7.

SANTA BARBARA 11, DOS PUEBLOS 6

SB 5 2 3 1 – 11
DP 0 1 2 3 – 6

SB Goals: Bridley 4, Robertson, Hunter, McManigal, Matthews, Schlagel, Loomis, Heffernan

DP Goals: Schroeder 4, Parrish, Mahan

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