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Historic run continues for CdM girls

Sea Kings rally back to stun Beckman, setting up OC title match against top-seeded Los Alamitos.

May 05, 2012|By Matt Szabo

ALISO VIEJO — Gabby Smith, a four-year varsity player in the Corona del Mar High girls' lacrosse program, celebrated her 18th birthday on Saturday.

It happened to coincide with a huge game, the semifinals of the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division tournament against league rival Beckman.

Smith now can vote. The senior certainly gave her No. 7-seeded team a vote of confidence following a historic 13-8 victory over the No. 3-seeded Patriots at Aliso Niguel High.

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"Best birthday present ever," Smith said after CdM earned its second straight upset, earning a spot in the Orange County title match against top-seeded Los Alamitos at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Dana Hills. "I'm so proud of my team, and so proud to be a part of it. I couldn't have asked for anything better for my senior year, especially with my sister [sophomore Sabrina] being on the team. I just love playing with all these players, as long as I possibly can."

Before this year, CdM had never been past the second round of the Southern Division playoffs. But the special run continues for the Sea Kings (17-3). They used huge contributions from so many different players to continue their crazy playoff push, which started with a 19-18 sudden-death overtime victory over Capistrano Valley on Thursday and continued with an 11-6 upset of No. 2 Foothill on Thursday.

Senior Ally Brahs, bound for the University of Washington for soccer, got the game ball from Coach Aly Vislocky. Brahs had three goals and a team-best four draw controls.

Both stats were big midway through the first half against Beckman, with whom CdM shared the Pacific Coast League title this year. After Beckman opened the game with a 4-1 lead, CdM scored seven unanswered goals to storm to an 8-1 halftime advantage.

Smith said the Patriots (15-4) were closely marking her and CdM's leading scorer, junior Molly Rovzar. They combined for just three goals. But Brahs stepped up in scoring as did senior Torrey Attyah, who scored three times in the first half and also led the team with three assists.

"Last game, I noticed they were shutting me down with my passes," Attyah said. "This game, I knew I had to come out and try something new. I had to adjust ... I knew I was going to attack more and not let them get the interceptions they were wanting."

Beckman had been here before. CdM hadn't, but the Sea Kings appeared loose before the game, dancing to a Kelly Clarkson song during shooting drills.

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