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Girls' Soccer: CdM tops Newport Harbor in Battle of the Bay

Sea Kings score twice off corner kicks in the second half, rallying to top Newport Harbor for third straight Battle of the Bay win.

December 20, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Scott Smeltzer…)

CORONA DEL MAR — Brianna Westrup is not new to soccer at all, but you wouldn't find her at the Corona del Mar High fields last year as a freshman.

Westrup was in the pool, playing girls' water polo for CdM. This year she decided to come back to soccer, the sport she plays club for Newport Beach-based Slammers FC.

"I love water polo but it's really time-consuming," Westrup said. "It was a little bit easier for me to play soccer."

The sophomore defender made it hard on rival Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay match Thursday afternoon. She finished off a goal in the 73rd minute, helping the Sea Kings rally for a 2-1 victory at CdM.

For much of the match it looked like the Sailors could upset the Sea Kings, who are the No. 2 team in CIF Southern Section Division 1. CdM also is ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 7 in the nation by Elite Soccer Report.

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But CdM had to catch Newport Harbor off guard to win the Battle of the Bay for the third straight year. It happened after CdM (6-1) earned a corner kick late in the second half.

Junior Miranda Stiver went to put the ball in the corner and touch it quickly, which made it a live ball. But the Sailors didn't immediately realize this.

CdM sophomore Shelby Brown, who was supposed to be taking the corner kick, instead was able to dribble it a considerable way toward the goal. Senior Monica Venturini got a touch on the ball before Westrup put it away.

"It's something that we work on, because it works once a year," CdM Coach Bryan Middleton said. "It happened to work today against Newport Harbor."

CdM dominated the opportunities in the first half, including several by Stiver, an Oregon State commit. But the Sailors (2-5-1) took the 1-0 halftime lead, after a beautiful volley by senior Jenna Castillo from near the top of the box found the right side of the net.

The Sea Kings kept working. They tied it in the 44th minute after a more conventional corner from senior Karsten Sigband. Westrup nearly headed it in, but the Newport defense held. CdM senior defender Alexa Mamatas kept the ball in the box, however, and senior forward Emily Krebs was able to score on a header.

"At halftime we knew we had to come out hard, and we did," said UCLA-bound senior midfielder Annie Alvarado, last year's co-Newport-Mesa Player of the Year. "We kept fighting. I'd say we were still confident at halftime. We knew we could come back and push for the win. Not just the tie, but the win, too."

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