Costa Mesa pulls away

Mustangs own second half to defeat rival Estancia. Both teams now prepare for CIF.

February 09, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — When things become stagnant, the Costa Mesa High girls' water polo team suffers.

The Mustangs play best when they can count on the counterattack.

They did it in the second half Wednesday afternoon, playing together to ensure the Battle for the Bell game was theirs, 15-7, over cross-town rival Estancia at the Eagles' pool.

Costa Mesa (13-11, 3-1 in league) earns second place in the Orange Coast League, its only loss coming to champion Laguna Beach. Estancia (10-14, 2-2 in league) finishes third.

Both teams earn berths in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs; brackets will be released Sunday.

The Mustangs have more open water now that they have a 50-meter pool on campus. But even at Estancia they performed their best on the counterattack, swimming away from the Eagles after holding a tenuous 7-5 halftime lead.

Sophomore Kellie Thorsness had a game-high four goals and senior Sydney Rosello found the back of the cage three times, also drawing four exclusions. The Mustangs also spread the ball around; their seven first-half goals came from seven different players.


"When we get into just a set offense, they usually tend to try to rely on Sydney, Ashley [DeMarzo] or Kellie setting," Costa Mesa Coach Tim Postiff said. "They rely on that instead of movement and stuff coming out of the counter. That's how we were able to get a more balanced offense, with our counterattack."

The Mustangs, in the playoffs for the eighth time in Postiff's nine-year tenure, started strong. They took a 4-1 lead after the first quarter.

Coach Jennifer Broderick's Eagles, who will make their first postseason appearance in five years, are young. Team captain Kylie Carpenter is the only senior starter.

The Eagles still clawed back in the second quarter after going down, 6-2, on a counter goal from DeMarzo (two goals and two steals). Carpenter scored from the outside, then again on a penalty shot to cut the deficit in half.

After Mustangs' senior Nicole Tfaye (two goals and three steals) scored on a rebound goal, Estancia sophomore Ilene Umansky blasted a power-play goal with eight seconds left in the quarter. Umansky scored a pair of goals and now has 82 for the season, which leads the league and also the Newport-Mesa area.

Carpenter and Umansky have scored more than 80% of their team's goals this year. Carpenter called Umansky her "right-hand girl," a welcome addition after missing her freshman year due to injury.

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