Newport Harbor lost to Corona del Mar in the championship game of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions after relinquishing a 5-1 halftime lead. And the Sea Kings won the privilege of defeating Newport Harbor after beating the Chargers in the Santa Barbara semifinals.
So really, today’s game isn’t even just about one chip. It’s about two.
“I think it means revenge,” senior goalkeeper Morgan Vickers said deliberately. “Re-venge. CdM beat them, and then it made us look like we couldn’t do it, and then we lost to CdM. We have to show them that we can do it too. We just had a bad game.
“Then we can prove we’re not this No. 2 seed. We’re the No. 2 seed [in CIF Southern Section Division I] because CdM beat us, which shouldn’t have happened. And Dos Puebos beat us. That shouldn’t have happened.”
The Sailors haven’t posted a shutout all season, but the three goals they allowed the Islanders marked one of their best defensive efforts.
“We came out hard and stayed hard the whole game,” Vickers said.
She blamed the Sailors’ loss to CdM in Santa Barbara on their waning intensity, so making a departure from that has been a key for Newport Harbor. “In a couple of our last games that’s been our problem ... We were told to be patient and slow down, and then it went downhill. So I think we’re trying to keep it going the whole time.”
Coronado lost senior Hannah Sebenaler, after she was called for her third exclusion with one second left in the third period.
“She’s one of their better shooters,” Newport Harbor Coach Bill Barnett said. “No doubt about that.”
Senior Mimi Bury and junior Nicolina McCall both finished with two goals each, while Erin Reid, Kate Klippert, and Kaleigh Gilchrist all added scores.
Bury thinks the team finally has the chemistry it needs to beat Dos Pueblos, which was lacking in the Holiday Cup.
“This tournament, we’ve been really playing as a team, which is really, really good to see,” Bury said. “It’s always good to have the passes exactly right on.”
Irvine Southern California
Newport Harbor 7, Coronado 3
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NH – Bury 2, McCall 2, Reid 1, Klippert 1, Gilchrist 1. Saves – Vickers 8.
Cor. – Young 2, Sebenaler 1. Saves – Adamson 12.
SORAYA NADIA McDONALD may be reached at (714) 966-4613 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.