The Arroyo Grande High girls water polo team lost to top-seeded Los Osos 8-5 for a second straight year in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinals after the fifth-seeded Eagles could not overcome a three-goal fourth quarter by the top-seeded Grizzlies.
Arroyo Grande had a total of 14 ejections to the penalty box, allowing Los Osos to score four of its goals with a 6-on-5 advantage.
“The referees called a tight game,” Eagles coach Steven Allen said, “and made it difficult to play our style of defense,
“(Goalkeeper Alana Benson) played great defense to only allow four goals in 14 6-on-5 situations,” Allen said. Benson finished with eight saves.
Arroyo Grande (22-9) scored two quick goals in the first period, but the Grizzlies answered by scoring one in the first and two more in second to go into halftime tied at 3-3.
Los Osos scored two more in the third before Melanie Popovich scored from half the length of the pool to bring the Eagles within one heading into the final period.
“This is the fourth time in the past two years that Arroyo Grande has been eliminated from the playoffs in the semifinals by Los Osos, twice against the boys and twice against the girls,” said Allen, who also coaches the boys water polo team in the fall.
Isabella Manuele and Popovich had two goals each to go along with one from Brooklyn Vander Veen.
The Eagles were in the semifinals for the eighth straight season. Arroyo Grande won three straight sectional titles from 2008 to 2010, lost in the semifinals in 2011 and reached another championship game only to lose in 2012.
Los Osos, which moved on to Saturday’s championship game, opened the playoffs with a 24-5 home win over Atascadero.