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CdM clamps down

Girls' Water Polo

Sea Kings allow just two goals, easing past Edison to advance to Holiday Cup semifinals.

December 30, 2011|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — At the start of the Holiday Cup, the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team had played just one match in the past 26 days.

The match was a thrilling Battle of the Bay win, sure, but that's not a lot of game experience. Still, practices lately have been productive.

"We have a quote, 'Practice at the highest level to play at the highest level,'" CdM senior Diana Murphy said.

Murphy said program alumni like Victoria Kent, Leslee Kaczmarek, Elise Molnar and Margot Money have come back for winter break and been scrimmaging with the team.

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The Sea Kings certainly played at a high level Friday in the quarterfinals of the Holiday Cup. They overcame a slow start, playing strong defense to top Edison, 9-2, at CdM.

Top-seeded Corona del Mar (5-0) advances to Saturday's semifinals against Santa Barbara, at 11:45 a.m. at Newport Harbor High. Santa Barbara edged Laguna Beach, 4-3, in another quarterfinal match at CdM.

Edison (3-4) had something to do with CdM's slow start Friday. The Chargers, ranked No. 8 in CIF Southern Section Division I, played inspired defense in the first quarter, which ended scoreless. They killed off two CdM six-on-fives, one thanks to a nice field block from senior Jessica Becker.

"Edison came out and played really, really well," CdM Coach Sam Bailey said. "They played with a lot of intensity and a lot of emotion. I think we were fortunate to weather that storm ... to hold them scoreless with their solid start was definitely a positive for us."

The Sea Kings, who are top-ranked in Division I, asserted themselves in the second quarter. Murphy, bound for Princeton, scored twice from set. Ally McCormick added a counterattack goal, then fellow junior Genevieve Weed blasted a shot into the left corner on the power play.

After sophomore Marina Coskinas walked the ball in and fired a shot into the upper-right corner, CdM suddenly had a 5-1 lead that it took into halftime.

"It wasn't a lack of effort in the first quarter," said Murphy, who scored a game-high three goals. "We were creating opportunities, but we just weren't executing. I think we just kept pushing our counter, and in the second quarter we started opening up on the counterattack. We started executing more, then we got more confident in our shots."

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