GWP: Santa Barbara wins two gold at California Cup

Girls 18s

Santa Barbara’s 18s with the California Cup trophy.


Santa Barbara Water Polo Club’s 16U and 18U girls teams, led by Cathy Neushul and Connor Levoff, took home Gold Medals at this weekend’s 2015 California Cup. The culmination of a series that began in the Fall of 2014, the California Cup championships include all of California’s best water polo clubs.

Santa Barbara’s 16U girls started play on Friday with a decisive 16-5 victory over SoCal Water Polo Club. On Saturday they cruised past Santa Clara 9-0 and Rose Bowl 19-10 before tying Huntington Beach Water Polo Club 7-7 in the semi-final match and winning a lengthy shootout 21-20. On Sunday the 16s met Saddleback-El Toro (SET), the defending Junior Olympic Champions in a championship game that again ended in a tie 6-6. Santa Barbara substituted Paige Hauschild into the goal for the shootout where she blocked four out of five SET attempts. Meanwhile Santa Barbara scored three times winning their first Gold Medal of the weekend. Santa Barbara’s 16’s included Jesse Brummett, Paige Hauschild, Grace Heck, Abbi Hill, Lara Kostruba, Kai McGeoy, Amelia Meckelborg, Ryann Neushul, Brittany Prentice, Grace Raisin, and Jewel Roemer. Rylan Scott was in goal for the 16s.

Santa Barbara's 16s taking a championship team photo.

Santa Barbara’s 16s taking a championship team photo.

The 18s opened play on Saturday by defeating Santa Clara and Los Angeles Water Polo Club by wide margins and then finished bracket play with a close 9-8 victory over Chino Hills (CHAWP). In Sunday’s semifinal match Santa Barbara cruised past Foothill Water Polo Club 8-3 before meeting 680 Water Polo Club of Northern California in the championship game. The 680 match was very close, particularly after Santa Barbara’s goalie, Amanda Longan, received her third foul and was ejected from the game in the third quarter.

Abbi Hill, whose sisters Sami and Kodi star for UCLA, played goalie for the final quarter. Santa Barbara was down 7-8 with less than a minute left when Paige Hauschild scored off a time-out play to tie the game and send Santa Barbara into their second shootout of the day. Hauschild then relieved Hill in goal where she made 3 blocks and Santa Barbara won the 12-11 off Ryann Neushul’s second round penalty shot. Santa Barbara’s 18’s included Jessie Brummett, Kate Coski, Kristina Garcia, Paige Hauschild, Abbi Hill, Amanda Longan, Ryann Neushul, Brittany Prentice, Jessee Ransone, Jewel Roemer, and Toni Shackelford. Amanda Longan was in goal for the 18s.

Santa Barbara’s 16U B team took 10th place after losing a one point game to Diablo water polo club of Northern California.