North-South Challenge – Notes on Day 1

Sacred Heart Prep played host to the early games of the North-South Challenge yesterday. I got to see most of them. So here are my quick, random thoughts and observations.

  • Mater Dei is the class of the tournament so far. Even against a very strong Dos Pueblos team the outcome was not in doubt. A team of endless motion, jagged angles, speed, power, wicked counter-attack…they will be tough to beat in the tournament or any other.
  • I looked very forward to watching Cathedral Catholic and they didn’t disappoint in this regard: a very resilient team coming back from 3 down to take Sacred Heart to overtime where they got two goals to win. A plucky group (undersized, I think) but overmatched against Mater Dei. Would be great to be proven wrong.
  • Carlsbad is one of the most communicative teams I can remember. They may chatter their way in to the finals; they appear to be competitive with El Toro, which is very good. Solid is the way I’d describe them. Some wicked shooters and a very talented, though young, goalkeeper.
  • Youth: Lots of 11th graders on these teams. Next year’s field will be loaded.
  • Parents: Some matches made me wonder what it would be like to field these tournaments without any parents… Nothing egregious, but quite a bit of very unflattering chirping. One exception: sat next to a parent, a former collegiate star, and not a sound about the reffing. Nice.
  • Picture this: imagine the how the game would look if the referees made every call that fans and coaches pleaded for? Ugh.


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  1. Anonymous

    El Toro’s fourth-ranked boys water polo team became the first two-time champion of the North-South Challenge by defeating No. 2 Mater Dei, 14-9, in the final Saturday night in Atherton.

    El Toro led Mater Dei, 9-3, in the third period and finished the tournament with four victories of at least four goals or more.

    In the semifinals, El Toro defeated Carlsbad, 12-6. Six different players scored for the Chargers.

    El Toro has won 2 of 3 matches against Mater Dei (16-4) this season.


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