Water Polo: CdM showing classic effort

Local 18U team, which didn't qualify for higher championship division, is into quarterfinals after two easy wins Friday.

August 02, 2013|By Matt Szabo

MISSION VIEJO — Motivation is easy to find for the CdM Aquatics 18-and-under girls this weekend at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics.

CdM qualified ninth from the Southern Pacific zone in late June, with two of its three losses coming by a single goal. The result was disappointing, because only the top eight teams advanced to the championship division for Junior Olympics. CdM is stuck in the lower "classic" division.

CdM Coach Ross Sinclair said his girls definitely have had a little extra fire at the Junior Olympics.

"We definitely deserve to be [in the championship division], but it is what it is," Sinclair said. "I told them, 'Hey, we play at a level. The teams that we play, if they're at a lower level, we don't stoop down to their level. We play at our level.' They're playing with a little chip on their shoulder, which is good. We've kind of been the underdogs all summer, and now we're the [favorites] in this [classic division]. It's like, 'OK, let's prove that we are the best, not only by winning but by winning easily.'"


That last part has not been a problem for CdM. It eased into the classic division quarterfinals Friday at Trabuco Hills High. CdM topped San Diego Shores B, 13-6, before getting past C-Cal of Porterville, 12-5.

Incoming senior center Marina Coskinas scored a game-high four goals in the C-Cal game, and incoming junior Eliza Britt added three. Maddie Musselman, Shannon Frome, Kampbell Gritsch, Annie Mortimer and Averi Westerman added single goals for CdM, which jumped out to a 4-2 lead after a quarter and cruised from there.

CdM, made up of members of the Sea Kings' incoming high school team, will play in a quarterfinal match Saturday at noon at Woodbridge High. Sinclair said he was happy with his team's progress. Each of his team's four wins have come by at least seven goals.

"They're playing really well," Sinclair said. "It's the end of the summer, so we should be playing our best right now. We're pretty much there, which is good. There's always room for improvement, but they're doing well. They're staying focused. It's hard for age-group girls to stay focused for a long period of time, and they're doing a pretty good job of that."

Sinclair said he's relying on his four-member senior class, which includes Coskinas, Mortimer, Gritsch and Bobbi Hoose, to step up. Coskinas did that at center on Friday, drawing multiple exclusions and showing why she's a focal point of the Sea Kings' offense.

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