CdM plays for ninth

CdM Aquatics 18Us split games Saturday at Junior Olympics, but is feeling good about tournament. Newport will play for 13th, while Carpenter and Wilkey help teams to semis.

August 06, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
  • Corona del Mar's Pippa Saunders throws a pass against the San Diego Shores Water Polo Club.
Corona del Mar's Pippa Saunders throws a pass against… (Kevin Chang, Daily…)

SANTA ANA — The chant at the end of the quarter break is not unfamiliar for the CdM Aquatics 18-and-under girls' team.

It's the same as the one the Sea Kings use during the high school season. Senior-to-be Pippa Saunders instructs her teammates to yell "Corona win!" on the count of three.

Fellow senior-to-be Alex Musselman counts to three before the whole team yells it, "Corona win!"

But in terms of saves, the goalie Musselman definitely didn't stop at three Saturday afternoon at Foothill High.

The UCLA commit made a staggering 39 saves in CdM's two games at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics. She had 21 saves in a 10-6 loss to San Diego Shores "A," then came back with 18 saves as CdM edged Davis, 8-7.

The latter win means ninth-seeded CdM will indeed play for ninth place in the platinum division Sunday. CdM will play Walnut Creek-based 680 Drivers Red at 1 p.m. at Santa Margarita High.


Newport Water Polo Foundation's 18-and-under girls, who won twice Saturday, will play Los Angeles Water Polo Club "Red" for 13th place at 11:45 a.m., also at Santa Margarita.

CdM Coach Sam Bailey knows he's got a great goalie in Musselman, last year's Daily Pilot Dream Team Player of the Year. But he'd probably be more impressed with her modest answer when asked about her big day.

"When my team's working so hard on defense, it makes me really want to block the ball," Musselman said.

She provided the last block at the final buzzer against Davis, helping CdM move on. It was a back-and-forth game, but CdM took its biggest lead, 8-5, on incoming junior Morgan Stewart's power-play strike early in the fourth quarter. Davis rallied within a goal on a strong drive and score by UC San Diego-bound Rachel Brooks with 33 seconds left.

CdM tried to run out the clock, but Musselman still needed to make the save on Davis' Rachel Johnson as time expired. Junior-to-be Cassidy Papa led CdM with three goals, incoming senior Diana Murphy scored twice and Avery Warwick and Saunders both added goals.

CdM led seventh-seeded San Diego Shores, 3-1, after a quarter. But San Diego Shores rallied for a 6-5 lead after three quarters and put the game away in the fourth, with Papa fouled out. Cal-bound Victoria Williams stole the ball at mid-pool and scored for San Diego Shores, then San Diego State-bound Anique Hermann did the same 14 seconds later. The latter goal gave San Diego Shores its 10-6 lead and put the game out of reach.

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