GWP: Hauschild’s 7 goals carry Royals past Dons, 9-8

Paige Hauschild  scored seven goals to lead San Marcos over Santa Barbara.

Paige Hauschild scored seven goals to lead San Marcos over Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara High took league-leading San Marcos down to the wire on Thursday, but the Dons’ upset bid fell short, 9-8, in a Channel League girls water polo match at the SBHS pool.

Paige Hauschild poured in seven goals for San Marcos, three of them coming on penalty shots, allowing the Royals to escape with the win.

“We don’t win that game without Paige,” San Marcos coach Chuckie Roth said. “There’s no two ways about that. She’s a gamer, she came to play. I’m not saying the others didn’t come to play, but defensively there was very little pride taken in our defensive effort today. Our counter was good today, but other aspects of our game needed a great deal of improvement.”

Santa Barbara showed great improvement in its game from the first meeting with the Royals back in December, a 13-7 loss.

“I told them afterward, ‘If we played like that in all of our games, we’d be a lot more successful this year than we’ve been,’ ” said Santa Barbara coach Mark Walsh. “I don’t know how we bottle it. We had finals today, so we had a really short practice yesterday, and I told them not to think about this game until after your final. I think we should have finals every week.”

San Marcos improves to 5-0 league while Santa Barbara is 3-2.

Freshman Grace Raisin scored two goals in the 2-meter area, sparking the Dons to a 3-1 lead in the first period. Freshman Georgia Ransone scored from the perimeter in the opening quarter and fed her older sister Jessee Ransone to complete a nice passing sequence and give Santa Barbara a 4-1 lead at the 6:23 mark of the second period.

“I thought Grace Raisin did a nice job at center for us. She scored some nice goals to get us going,” Walsh said. “Georgia Ransone hit an outside shot. Those are two of our freshman that played every minute for us and set the tone for us. That was pretty nice.”

Hauschild got San Marcos going in the second quarter, scoring the next three goals to knot the score at 4-4. She finished a 6-on-5 power play, made a steal and beat the goalie from long range and converted a penalty shot.

Kristina Garcia of the Dons ended the scoring run with a power-play goal. But the Royals came back and earned a second penalty shot, with Hauschild doing the honors. She tied the score at 5-5 before halftime.

“My girls, we had one really good quarter. We played well in the second quarter and after that we didn’t play very well,” Roth said. “I love my kids, and they’re some of the best people in the world, but we got to find a way to play all four quarters.”

San Marcos scored a third penalty shot in the fourth period.

“They’re all orchestrated, and the girls did a very good job of executing that today,” said Roth, who cited Kate Coski for her play around the goal.

“Giving up three penalties is really tough to come back from,” said Walsh. “They did a good job beating us down the pool and getting inside water on us. That’s something we have to work out. They’re very, very fast. I thought (goalie) Sienna (Goggia) played awesome. She stopped some 6 on 5s and she definitely kept us in the game.”

Hauschild gave San Marcos its first lead, scoring off a pass from Riley Heiduk for a 6-5 advantage early in the third period. But Santa Barbara responded on a brilliant individual effort by Lara Kostruba. She fought off a pair of defenders and beat goalie Jenna Phreaner to tie the score at 6-6.

Hauschild beat Goggia on a skip shot to put the Royals ahead 7-6 after three periods.

Raisin stole the ball for the Dons on San Marcos’ first possession of the fourth period, but the Royals’ defense rose to the occasion and didn’t allow a shot, forcing Santa Barbara to dump the ball.

Santa Barbara had another chance to tie it as Jessee Ransone broke free inside. But she had to lunge for the pass and was unable to get much power on her shot.

Heiduk scored on a rebound to give San Marcos a two-goal lead, 8-6.

A Dons foul on a cross-pool pass inside five meters resulted in another penalty shot for the Royals. Hauschild delivered for a 9-6 advantage with 3:46 to go.

Santa Barbara kept battling. Raisin scored on a rebound off the post and Kostruba blasted one from the right side to make it 9-8 with 50 seconds left.

Goggia made a steal, giving Santa Barbara a chance at a tying goal. The Dons got a shot but it was off target.

Hauschild ran out the clock for San Marcos.

“Santa Barbara played incredibly hard today,” said Roth.

Walsh said his players are starting to figure things out.

“We were better with our passing,” he said. “We’ve watched ourselves on film more; I think they’re starting to see it more, just a simple thing to clean up. We didn’t turn the ball over too much and that gives us more scoring opportunities.”