High School Sports

Ransom Everglades girls win third consecutive water polo state title

Ransom Everglades High Scholl girl's water polo team celebrates victory after winning the state championship game against Olympia on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Ransom Everglades High School in Coconut Grove.
Ransom Everglades High Scholl girl's water polo team celebrates victory after winning the state championship game against Olympia on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Ransom Everglades High School in Coconut Grove. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Ransom Everglades’ reign atop the world of Florida girls’ high school water polo

is not over yet.

The Raiders defeated Orlando Olympia 9-6 on Saturday afternoon in their home pool to win their third consecutive state title, and their seventh in the past eight years.

“These girls are coming from a dynasty,” Ransom Everglades coach Eric Lefebvre said after the game. “This year we had to work harder than I think we’ve ever had to work to reach this point.”

Ransom Everglades used a balanced scoring attack to win this year’s state title. Carolina Carrera-Justiz scored the Raiders’ first goal, and her older sister, Sofia Carrera-Justiz, tallied the next two to give Ransom a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Raiders outscored the Titans 2-1 in both the second and third quarters and took a 7-3 lead into the final frame. Leila Sorrells scored for Olympia to cut the Ransom lead to 8-5 with 3:38 to play, but Ransom’s Elle Futernick responded with a goal of her own 21 seconds later, extending the Raider lead to 9-5 and starting another Ransom celebration.

Futernick finished with a hat trick for the Raiders, and Mya Wright, Isa Reyes-Capo and Ande Edmunds each added a goal.

Lefebvre praised his team’s depth after the game.

“Our first goals were scored by starters four, five and six,” Lefebvre said. “If your four, five and six can do it, we can always win.”

Marcela Herrera and Leila Sorrells scored two goals each to lead Olympia, but Grace Whidden was held to one goal after scoring five in Friday afternoon’s quarterfinal and four more in Friday night’s semifinal. The Titans reached their first state final after reaching the state semifinals last year and the state quarterfinals in 2014.

“I’m proud of my kids,” Olympia coach Stephanie Possell said. “The fact that I’m only losing two seniors this year is exciting for our future. My juniors are going to leave a little bit hungry, and that’s good.”

Olympia and Ransom Everglades split two regular-season meetings, with the Titans winning 5-0 on Feb. 20, and the Raiders coming away with an 8-5 victory on March 12.

Ransom Everglades started the year 1-2 before winning 21 of its last 23 games en route to its third consecutive title.

The Raiders lost three games against other Florida schools and have now avenged all three of those losses in the postseason. Ransom defeated Gulliver 11-8 to win its district championship before knocking off previously unbeaten Lake Nona 8-3 in Friday night’s state semifinal and beating Olympia in Saturday’s title game.

“They think that every year they’re going to start out shiny and gold,” Lefebvre said. “You’re not shiny and gold until you win the state championship.”

On Saturday afternoon, the Raiders once again became “shiny and gold,” and Lefebvre again joined his team in the pool.

“I’ve been in this pool many, many times,” Lefebvre said. “On a day like today, the water tastes like it’s sweetened.”

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