Cal High’s Victoria Padilla sets single-game scoring record with 15 goals
WHITTIER – The California High School girls water polo team had a lot to celebrate on senior day in the final game of the season in the Del Rio League Tuesday.
The Condors won their 18th game, clinched second place in league, junior utility player Victoria Padilla set the single-game scoring record and six seniors were honored.
A large home crowd honored the following seniors: Leslie Meza, Goalie; Izzy Ayala, Driver; Carol Hernandez, Driver; Alyssa Flores, Driver; Lynsie Barragan, Driver and Chloe Rodriguez, Driver.
With the regular season concluded, the CIF-Southern Section brackets will be announced Saturday at 9 am. Cal is ranked second in Division 5 and is expected to receive the No. 2 Seed.
League champ La Serna is ranked fourth in Division 4 and is expected to receive the No. 4 Seed.
In addition to honoring the seniors, Padilla set the Cal High record with a 15-goal performance.
“We try to work as a team and leave everything in the pool,” Padilla said, who has offers from multiple NCAA Div. I teams. “My main goal is to get the ball in the cage.”
Padilla has a brother, Jesus, who was a member of the 2018 CIF Champions. He is currently at Whittier and recently won both the SCIAC and Division III National Championship.
“I was trying to beat my brother’s record,” Padilla said. Jesus Padilla scored 14 goals for the Condors in a single game during his career.
Padilla helped to give the Condors a big first-half lead, scoring seven goals. She would continue the wave of goals with seven more in the second half, with the record-setting 15th goal coming with 1:49 left in the game.
“I have a great team and we try to work as a team as hard as possible and play defense,” Padilla added.
Speaking of defense, Padilla praised goalie Meza. “She is valuable with communication and making long passes. It’s all about defense.”
Ironically Padilla started as a goalie at the age of seven, before her scoring ability was discovered and the rest was history.
Also scoring for the Condors was sophomore driver Jimena Vargas with three goals, while freshman utility Myah Ibarra added two goals and Rodriguez had one.
Santa Fe was led by a trio of players with a pair of goals – junior utility Melanie Cruz, sophomore utility Kylee Eatmon and junior utility Josie Martinez.
The first period was a close, 3-2 lead before the Condors outscored the Chiefs, 9-2 in the second for a 9-4 half time lead. Cal again scored nine goals, helped by Padilla’s five goals, in the third for the 18-4 lead.
“We started off a little rough and were shaky,” Cal coach Davey Brown said. “As the game went on we adjusted on defense and figured out what we needed to do.
“Obviously, our main scorer is Padilla, along with sophomore Hannah Franco and Vargas. Our defense is led by Barragan, Rodriguez and Flores.
“Victoria’s (Padilla) moving and driving is what gets her open so much.”