“Right before the fourth quarter of that Newport game when we were lining up, she was out [of the water] to almost her stomach,” Chaney said. “She was looking to her right and her left to tell the girls, ‘Come on! We’re going to do this!’ She was just getting people going in that game.”
CdM won the tournament after topping the Sailors in overtime, 6-5, holding Newport Harbor scoreless for the final 21-plus minutes of the contest. Baldoni was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
The player who her teammates and coach call by her initials, “KB,” wasn’t toying around. She helped lead a scrappy defensive effort for the team now ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division I coaches’ poll.
In the four TOC games, Corona del Mar held its opponents to three second-half goals. It allowed the Sea Kings to come back from a three-goal halftime deficit in both the quarterfinal and final of the tournament.
“We wanted it,” said Baldoni, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week. “I felt like the second half was our game. In the Laguna Beach game and the Newport game, we were down and we came out harder. I guess it was just our desire to win. It was a team effort.”
Baldoni has been steady in goal for CdM (12-5) this season, starting every game while making 154 saves, just over nine per game. But even when things weren’t necessarily going the Sea Kings’ way — they were just 5-5 after finishing fourth in the Holiday Cup — Baldoni is one player who wouldn’t stay down.