The Shore 10-under girls’ water polo team traveled to Palo Alto last weekend where they won the 2018 Junior Olympics national championship, and they did it the Long Beach way.
“We’re not the biggest team so we rely on our speed and awareness,” coach Brendan Patterson said. “We are defense first, and get teams on the counter attack. It’s a Long Beach tradition. (Junior Olympics) is our Super Bowl. We’ve been preparing for it since last September.”
The Shore 10U girls won all nine of their JO games at Stanford University, and defeated Vanguard 5-0 in the final. Katherine O’Dea was named the 10U MVP. She is the daughter of Wilson High coach Barry O’Dea, and isn’t the only player on Patterson’s team who has Shore connections.
“I’ve been at Shore for five years, and I’ve coached a lot of these girls’ older brothers,” Patterson said. “I’ve been able to see them grow, and they’ve got that younger sibling chip on their shoulder. These are some tough young ladies.”
This is the first JO title for the Shore 10U girls’ squad.
“Shore has a great history of developing talent and it’s been an honor leading this next generation of players,” Patterson said. “Our club is all about opportunity and these girls worked hard all year to make the most of theirs.”
Shore 10U Girls’ Water Polo
Reece Haga, Kate Tunnicliff, Cecilia De Luca, Skylar Rahe, Olivia Garcia, Lucy Forrester, Amanda Leung, Katherine O’Dea, Francesca Garcia, Eve Webb, Lily Nelson, Drew Shelton. Head coach Brendan Patterson. Assistant coach Jarrett Tossey.