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CdM's counter ruthless

Sea Kings never stop swimming, posting their second impressive victory in three days.

January 07, 2011|By Matt Szabo,

CORONA DEL MAR — A swim meet broke out Friday afternoon at the Corona del Mar High pool.

Midway through the second quarter, CdM sophomore Cassidy Papa was sprinting as hard as she could down the pool.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Papa was still doing the same thing.

The Sea Kings' counterattack was relentless as they eased past Foothill in the nonleague girls' water polo match, 10-5.

Five of CdM's 10 goals came off its counterattack, including a penalty shot earned by senior Tori Gabert on the counter. Papa, who converted the shot, led the way in the game with four goals.


"We wanted to come out and really show what we're made of," Papa said. "We've been swimming and countering every single practice. We wanted to show, even against a good team like Foothill, that we can still counter them and really get up on them, and keep that intensity for the whole game."

Ally McCormick also scored three times for CdM (6-4), two on the counter. She and Papa got on-the-money passes every time from junior goalie Alex Musselman.

Musselman, who tied a season-high with 16 saves, also had four assists.

"She's amazing," Papa said of Musselman. "I've never really played with any other goalie that can pass like that. It's really nice to have that. [You] trust her to make the block, and trust her to make the pass. And she trusts me and whoever else is up on the counter. She trusts us to be able to take the ball and put it away."

Coach Sam Bailey said it all starts with defense for the Sea Kings, who have won five of their last six matches — four of those coming against Division I top-10 opponents. They had a 2-1 lead after a quarter. Twice early in the second quarter, Foothill (5-6) had shots to tie the score go bar-out.

The Sea Kings took advantage on a crisp series of passes from McCormick to senior Lauren Marks to junior Pippa Saunders. Her shot went bar-in, trickling into the net to give Corona del Mar a 3-1 lead with 3:56 left in the first half.

From there, it was off to the races. CdM held a 6-1 halftime lead and continued countering. Papa scored next, beating a triple-team and charging Foothill goalie Kelsey Rowland. The sophomores both countered on the next possession, with Papa feeding McCormick for an 8-1 lead midway through the third quarter.

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