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Ortlieb's a stingy one

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Senior goalie has led Sea Kings to 16-0 record, the second best start in program's history.

April 20, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

Michael Ortlieb doesn't want the spotlight just on him.

The other day, a photographer came out to take photos of Ortlieb, the goalie for the Corona del Mar High boys' lacrosse team. Instead of a photo shoot with only Ortlieb, the senior asked if his defenders could pose in the photos.

The team's motto is "All in." There was Ortlieb, all in, looking tough with the players responsible for much of his success.

Ortlieb is the first to say he's not the only reason why CdM is undefeated through 16 games of the season. There's no arguing that he has played a big role for the Sea Kings, ranked No. 7 in the state by laxpower.com.

They're off to the second best start in the program's history. Three years ago, CdM began the season with 17 straight wins.

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Back then, Ortlieb wasn't a goalie. He was a freshman attacker, a position in which you're supposed to score goals.

The switch to stopping goals wasn't an easy one for Ortlieb.

The idea to move to goalie wasn't Ortlieb's. At times as a kid, he played in front of the cage. But he always saw himself as a scorer.

The Sea Kings got a new head coach, G.W. Mix, before Ortlieb's junior season. Mix broached the idea to Ortlieb to come out for goalie.

"He told me he went through the same situation in high school, playing attack and then switching to goalie," Ortlieb said. "He turned out to be a great player at [the University of Pennsylvania]."

Ortlieb was still reluctant about his new role. He stopped questioning it after figuring out why Mix asked him to play goalie.

"I knew it would benefit the team," Ortlieb said.

Ortlieb turned in his stick for one with a bigger head. The Holy Cross-bound goalie has put it to good use, making save after save in his final season with the Sea Kings.

The real season to Ortlieb starts next month. The U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Southern Division I playoffs are right around the corner.

The Sea Kings have three games left, two in Pacific Coast League play, before the postseason begins. They are trying to wrap up their fifth straight undefeated league title and first undefeated regular season before the playoffs.

The Sea Kings competed in a playoff-caliber tournament last week in San Francisco.

During spring break, the Sea Kings decided to play lacrosse, rather than play at the beach. In the past, Ortlieb said the Sea Kings split up the break, the first part they spent playing games and practicing, and the second part players went their separate ways to have fun.

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