Owls cap historic season with 3rd at state

Photo By: Courtesy of Shelly Bowers
Photo Courtesy Of Shelly Bowers

The Foothill College women’s water polo team is all smiles after winning the Northern California championship. The Owls then finished third at the state tournament. Front row, from left Meri Meighan, Riley Negrete, Deanna Farley, Anna Kim, Caroline Norton and Jaimie Breen. Back row Ashley Arras, Sarah Magee, Joanna Short, Venus Beetajian, Dana Delucchi, Hailey Smith, assistant coach Laura Benton, Gurpuran Singh, head coach Jeff Bissell and assistant coach Trisha Quan.

Although the Foothill College women’s water polo team failed to claim the state crown, the Owls succeeded in making history.

Foothill placed third in the state tournament – the highest finish in school history – by beating host Diablo Valley 6-5 in overtime Nov. 17.

“The win capped off an amazing season,” coach Jeff Bissell said.

The Owls posted a 25-5 record that included a 10-0 mark in the Coast Conference. Foothill won its first Northern California title and didn’t lose to a team in the region all season.

The Owls’ lone playoff loss came to Fullerton, which prevailed 14-7 the first day of the state tourney. That snapped Foothill’s 17-game winning streak.

The Owls rebounded the next day – in dramatic fashion – against Diablo Valley in the third-place game. Foothill trailed 5-4 with 12 seconds left when Jaimie Breen earned a 5-meter penalty shot that Hailey Smith made to tie the game and force overtime.

After the teams played two scoreless quarters of regulation overtime, the game went into golden-goal overtime – next goal wins. In the sixth overtime period, Foothill goalie Dana Delucchi made three one-on-one saves before Breen drilled a 5-meter shot from center cage for the win.

The Owls had an easier time in the NorCal tourney at De Anza the prior weekend. Top-seeded Foothill never trailed in the title game and defeated Diablo Valley 14-6.

Breen, Smith, Deanna Farley, Anna Kim and Gurpuran Singh scored multiple goals for Foothill. Delucchi recorded 10 saves.

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