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Girls' Water Polo: Corona del Mar upsets Foothill, 10-9, advances to CIF final

Sea Kings outlast Knights in overtime, as Ioanna Haralabidis provides game-winner.

February 20, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Corona del Mar High head coach Sam Bailey, far right, reacts to his team defeating Foothill.
Corona del Mar High head coach Sam Bailey, far right, reacts… (KEVIN CHANG | Daily…)

IRVINE — The late UCLA men's basketball coach John Wooden is quoted as saying, "The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."

Some people outside of the team, fairly or unfairly, have called the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team a team of individuals at points this season. The Sea Kings, struggling to find their chemistry at times, never made it to the finals of any of the three in-season tournaments.

But CdM Coach Sam Bailey, a UCLA alumnus, believes in the legendary Wooden and his "Pyramid of Success."

Now Bailey again has the Sea Kings one match away from the top of the Southern California girls' water polo pyramid.

Senior Ioanna Haralabidis scored the game-winning six-on-five goal with 41 seconds left in overtime as No. 3-seeded CdM upset No. 2 Foothill, 10-9, in a frantic CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinal Wednesday night at Woollett Aquatics Center.

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Corona del Mar (26-4) will play Back Bay rival Newport Harbor in the Division 1 final for the second straight year Saturday night back at Woollett. The No. 4 Sailors upset top-seeded Santa Barbara, 8-5, in the second semifinal Wednesday.

Both squads will need a team effort to achieve that stardom. CdM got there in the final minute of overtime, after senior Ally McCormick drew an exclusion on a counterattack with 58 seconds left. The Sea Kings called timeout to set up a play.

Senior co-captain Cassidy Papa walked the ball in before finding Haralabidis at the left post. And Haralabidis, speaking after the game, certainly sounded nothing like just an individual.

"I believed in Cassidy, I believed in [senior] Gen [Weed], I believed in all of them," Haralabidis said. "When I was sitting there waiting for her to give me that pass, I knew that she would give it to me. We trust each other. We love each other ... That shot wasn't only me. It was Cassidy, it was Gen, it was all of us. If it weren't for Gen faking, if it weren't for Marina [Coskinas] at the post pushing the defender out of my way, I could have never put that goal in. It's a team effort."

It certainly was that for CdM, which played without freshman standout Maddie Musselman (broken wrist). The Sea Kings had to rally from a 6-3 deficit in the third quarter. Foothill (25-4) took the three-goal lead after senior Brenna Thomas scored a six-on-five goal.

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