Santa Margarita’s girls’ water polo team won the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 title Feb. 16, defeating San Clemente 18-12 at the William Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.

Eight goals by Caroline Christl, who formerly played for San Clemente, led the Eagles (20-8), ranked No. 1 in Division 2. Three Christl goals in the opening quarter shot Santa Margarita to a 5-1 lead that became 11-6 at halftime, and the Eagles never led by less  than four goals the rest of the match.

This was Santa Margarita’s fourth CIF-SS girls’ water polo title, having previously won the Division IV title in 2000 and D-2 titles in 2013 and 2014, the latter under current coach Brian Weathersby. On three other occasions, Santa Margarita was runner-up.

With the victory, Santa Margarita earned the sixth seed in Division 1 of the Southern California Regional Championships, and will play No. 3 Orange Lutheran on Feb. 22 in the first round. No other local Catholic teams qualified for the Regionals.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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