May 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

CIF champion Crean Lutheran loses in first round at regional tourney

Crean Lutheran Coach Ed Carrera talks to his players during a timeout at Tuesday’s regional. (Photos courtesy Crean Lutheran Shutterbugs, Howard Lyon and John Luciano).

Crean Lutheran’s boys water polo team, which captured the CIF Division 6 title a week ago, was eliminated in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs Tuesday.

Fourth seeded San Dieguito Academy defeated the visiting fifth seeded Saints 17-10 in the Division III playoffs.

“We cut the deficit in the fourth 10-7 but then they went on a run, and towards the end I wanted to give our entire bench the experience of playing in state,” said Coach Ed Carrera.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo:

Tate Fitzgerald, Johnathan DiPinto and Mark DiPinto led Crean Lutheran (22-7) with three goals each. Nik Mohrman added one goal.

Carrera believes the future of the program is bright. Until this season, the program had not been in the CIF playoffs.

“I think we look solid for next year, it will be interesting to see if we move up a division,” Carrera, the Saints first-year coach said. “We are returning most of our starters, including Tate Fitzgerald, the DiPinto brothers, Bobby Holmes and Nik Mohrman.

“Our new goalie will have big shoes to fill as Austin Griffin is graduating and he was a big part of our success, along with Blaise Tomassian. We are looking forward to a great off-season, and see if we can repeat the same kind of success next year.”

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com