Castilleja goes on scoring spree to win PAL water polo opener

Menlo-Atherton goalie Eva Brouwer may have taken a hand to her face but she blocked this Castilleja shot.

Sophomore Minhee Chung scored on her first shot of the game but it still took a while for Castilleja to stretch its water polo wings against a hard-working group at Menlo-Atherton in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division opener for both teams.

Chung scored six goals, senior goalie Georgia Lewis recorded nine saves and the Gators scored nine straight goals over the course of the contest to beat the host Bears 12-3 Wednesday.

In other matches, Sacred Heart Prep roared past host St. Ignatius 15-3 and St. Francis toppled Mitty 15-3 in WCAL play and Aragon edged host Menlo 10-9 in a PAL Bay Division contest.

The Gators (1-1, 1-0) had 10 days off since opening the year with a loss to Sacred Heart Prep.

"I told the girls that Castilleja is such an unbelievable place and there are so many opportunities but when we get to a game, they have to focus," Gators' coach Brenda Villa said. "I think that affected us in the first quarter. They will always have a million things to do but when it's time for water polo, that's where the mind has to be. What helps is that this is a cohesive group."

It helps that a majority of the players have been together for a couple of years. It also helps to have a couple of Lewis' on the same team, even if they're not related.

Georgia Lewis, who actually has a sister named Madison but she's not the same Madison who is Georgia's teammate, is fast establishing herself as one of the top goalies in an area that has produced several elite goalies.

"She's solid," Villa said. "She's consistent, a great leader and her confidence has grown."

Madison Lewis, a dependable player on both ends of the pool, added three goals against M-A.

Chung showed a natural talent for the game as a freshman and has started taking her game to the next level.

"Last year I had to keep telling her it was OK to take over," Villa said. "She's taking that on it on this year."

Senior Jashee Yang and juniors Claire Pisani and Jui Steffen also scored for the Gators.

Castilleja plays in the St. Francis tournament on Friday and Saturday before returning to PAL action next Wednesday at Aragon at 4 p.m.

Menlo-Atherton (0-2, 0-1), with long-time water polo coach Travis Wycokoff coming out of retirement to take the reins, also took a long break between matches.

The Bears have tremendous upside and will be a factor by the PAL tournament comes around Oct. 23.

Maddie Maxwell scored twice for M-A and Grace Dowley also scored, tying the game at 3-all early in the second period before Castilleja broke loose. Cameron Bozdog and Eva Brouwer shared goalie duties, each turning some fine work.

The Bears are also entered in the St. Francis tournament before playing at Woodside next Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Mia Rosenblatt scored four goals for Menlo (1-1, 0-1) in the loss to the Dons. Sarah Donato added three goals.

The Knights are entered in the Acalanes tournament this weekend.

Sacred Heart Prep opened its WCAL season with a 15-3 over host St. Ignatius.

Eleanor Facey led all scorers with five goals, followed by Nadia Paquin with four and Addi Duvall with three.

Nellie McAdams recorded 10 saves.

The Gators (2-1, 1-0) host Los Altos in the opening round of the St. Francis tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

On Tuesday, Mountain View knocked off host Palo Alto 12-7 in a SCVAL De Anza Division opener. Madison Menard and Malena Nguyen each scored four times against the Vikings (2-2, 0-1), who play at Los Altos at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

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