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Smith helped CdM's special season

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Senior midfielder, a team captain, helped ensure a memorable ending to her prep career.

May 11, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Scott Smeltzer…)

As the Corona del Mar High girls' lacrosse team made a historic run over the last two weeks, Gabby Smith definitely was excited.

Excited, yes. But surprised at the Sea Kings' success, which included a co-Pacific Coast League title and a berth in the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division title match? Maybe not.

Smith said she could sense it even before the year began, that her senior year might be a special one for CdM.

"I knew it was going to be different than other years," Smith said. "I really did. Being on a team, you know when people want to be there and want to get better, and when they don't. [You know] when people are really invested in it. I was telling everyone, 'We're going to be really good this year.'"

Smith, a four-year varsity player, helped make it happen. The Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week has been a versatile contributor all year at midfielder for the Sea Kings, who fell to defending champion Los Alamitos, 12-6, in the Orange County championship on Wednesday.

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Smith finished second on the team with 56 goals, second with 21 assists and led CdM with 58 ground balls. She will play next year at Chapman University, the first player in the program to play in college.

Just as often, Smith's senior leadership showed up in what she said. She said part of the thrill of beating league rival Beckman, 13-8, in a South Division semifinal on May 5 was that she and junior Molly Rovzar, the team's leading scorer, didn't necessarily have big games.

"It's like, so what, someone birds [closely guards] me," Smith said. "So what, someone birds Molly? We have 10 other players that can do the same thing … We like being the underdogs, because everyone wants the underdogs to win. We have so many people rooting for us. With our seeding, we weren't necessarily disappointed with that, because it just means we can prove ourselves again. And we did."

The playoff semifinal victory over Beckman, after the teams split their league meetings, was part of a big weekend for Smith. That game occurred on her 18th birthday. The night before the game, she went to a concert of her favorite band, Coldplay, at the Hollywood Bowl with some friends.

"But I didn't stay out too late," Smith said, smiling, "because I had to prepare [for the game]."

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