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CdM wins wild one

Girls' Water Polo

Sea Kings lose lead, but dominate OT to dethrone three-time defending Division 1 champ Dos Pueblos. Chargers file protest.

February 18, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Vince Agapito )

GOLETA — For the second time this season, a Corona del Mar High girls' water polo game came down to a fraction of a second at the end of regulation.

Dos Pueblos senior Kodi Hill, who had led the Chargers' stirring second-half rally, was a split-second away from ending it all Saturday. Not just the game, but the Sea Kings' season.

She was a blink of the eye from shocking top-seeded CdM and keeping alive Dos Pueblos' quest for a fourth straight CIF Southern Section Division 1 title. But, in a tie game, Hill's goal into the left corner of the net at the end of regulation was waved off. The referees ruled she had shot it just after the buzzer.

For that brief moment, CdM's players thought their season could have ended. It stunned the player who provided the first split-second moment, when she scored full-court at the end of the Battle of the Bay.

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Almost being on the other side isn't as fun.

"I don't ever want to feel like that again," CdM senior goalie Alex Musselman said, repeating herself for emphasis. "Ever. Ever."

But the Sea Kings made sure they made the most of overtime in the quarterfinal match.

Cassidy Papa, Ally McCormick and Diana Murphy scored in overtime as the Sea Kings pulled away and won, 9-6, at Dos Pueblos High. CdM will play Foothill in a Division 1 semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center. The Sea Kings beat Foothill, 11-8, in the semifinals of the Irvine Southern California Championships on Feb. 4.

Corona del Mar (27-2), searching for its first Division 1 title, is in at least the CIF semifinals for the 13th straight year. But don't ask Coach Sam Bailey about a changing of the guard after his team accomplished something no team has done in five years — taking down Dos Pueblos in the playoffs. The Chargers won the Division 2 crown in 2008 before rattling off three straight Division 1 titles.

As he does, Bailey put things in perspective. The Sea Kings are still focused on their ultimate goal.

"Dos Pueblos is still on top," Bailey said. "How many D1 championships did they win? This is a quarterfinal matchup. Winning the championship is a whole lot different than making it to the semis."

Dos Pueblos Coach Chris Parrish filed a protest after Saturday's game. Despite the fact that Hill's shot did appear to be just late, Parrish said that the referees did not blow their whistles to end regulation, instead relying on the buzzer.

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