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Girls' Water Polo: Sailors bounce back over CdM

Back Bay teams lose in semifinals, but Newport Harbor rebounds to win third-place match at Holiday Cup.

December 29, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Newport Harbor High's Elissia Schilling, right, scores on a back-handed shot defended by Santa Barbara's Jessica Gaffney.
Newport Harbor High's Elissia Schilling, right,… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — If the Newport Harbor High girls' water polo team is leading headed to the fourth quarter, junior goalie Cleo Harrington waits for the words from Coach Bill Barnett.

He said them again Saturday afternoon, going into the fourth quarter of the Holiday Cup third-place match.

"If they don't score, we win," Barnett told Harrington, loudly enough that everyone on the pool deck at Newport Harbor High could hear.

Corona del Mar didn't score in the fourth quarter. Newport Harbor was on its way to posting a 7-4 victory in the third-place match, getting a bit of payback after losing the Battle of the Bay match last week.

Senior co-captain Elissia Schilling and junior Christina O'Beck each scored three goals, as the Sailors also rebounded from a 7-6 loss to Santa Barbara in the semifinals earlier Saturday. Foothill handed CdM its first loss of the season, 9-7, in the other semifinal.

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Foothill went on to win the tournament for the second straight year, pulling away in the second half for an 8-4 victory over Santa Barbara.

Newport Harbor's junior varsity team placed a strong ninth in the tournament after outlasting Palos Verdes in triple overtime, 7-6, in the ninth-place match.

Better shooting was key for the Sailors' varsity team (6-3) against CdM. They were down 3-2 late in the second quarter after CdM freshman Maddie Musselman scored on a pass from senior Morgan Stewart.

But Schilling scored on a long outside shot before halftime, then the Sailors scored three consecutive goals in the third quarter, one each by Schilling, O'Beck and senior Carolyn Smith.

"You have to make the goalie stop the ball, and we didn't do that the last time we played them," Schilling said. "A lot of our shots were wide or over the cage, so we worked on our outside shooting a lot. It definitely showed in this game … Everyone played great today too. The last time we played CdM, there was a lot of miscommunication."

Musselman scored again bar down before the third quarter ended, trimming the Newport lead to 6-4. But O'Beck provided the final goal, on a short lob at the shot-clock buzzer with 2:44 left to play in the match.

"I think today we really played as a team," said O'Beck, who also had a pair of steals. "We're coming together."

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