Sea Kings stunned

Foothill, No. 7 seed, pulls off upset over No. 3 CdM in the CIF Division I semifinals Wednesday.

February 23, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

IRVINE — The Corona del Mar High and Foothill girls' water polo teams both have bright futures.

Of the 14 starters in the water for Wednesday night's CIF Southern Section Division I semifinal, 11 will return next year.

But, on this night at Woollett Aquatics Center, the Knights' only senior starter still came up huge.

Lefty Kelli Boling gave her team a chance to win the game, scoring a rebound power-play goal with 55 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

The seventh-seeded Knights didn't blow their opportunity for a second straight upset.

Junior Jessie Porter scored from seven meters with 1:40 left in the second overtime period as Foothill stunned No. 3-seeded Corona del Mar, 10-9, ending the Sea Kings' season.

"We caught some breaks with balls getting deflected in, and we got a rebound," Foothill Coach Jeff Colton said. "We just caught a few breaks this game and they didn't get them. I think when you have two teams that are really close, sometimes it just comes down to that. [It's] the saying, 'Better to be lucky than good.' But they're a really good team."


CdM definitely wasn't lucky at the end. After one last timeout, the Sea Kings earned a six-on-five opportunity when Boling fouled out. Sophomore Cassidy Papa had the last chance to send the game to sudden-death, and her shot with 23 seconds left went bar down.

Bar down, but not bar in. The Sea Kings (21-8) were just down and out, as Foothill (19-10) was able to run out the clock after that.

"We got the shot," said Papa, who scored twice. "I mean, honestly, a lot of our shots we missed, hitting bars and going out … We came out super-hard, we came out with a lot of intensity. Our defense was good for the most part. They put the shots away that we were giving them to put away. They obviously executed when they were given the shot, and we didn't when we were given the shot a lot of times."

Foothill, which also upset No. 2 Los Alamitos in the quarterfinals, plays two-time defending champion and top-seeded Dos Pueblos in the final Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Dos Pueblos outlasted Laguna Beach, 14-13, in sudden-death overtime in the other semifinal.

The Sea Kings were usually up in their semifinal, but never by more than two goals. After falling behind 1-0 early, Corona del Mar didn't trail again until the first overtime period.

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