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Girls' Water Polo: CdM wins Fall Fling

Musselman returns from Futures 50 competition to score winning goal, as Sea Kings top rival Newport Harbor for title.

October 28, 2013|By Matt Szabo
(Courtesy of Karen…)

SANTA ANA — Meet the new queens.

Same as the old queens.

That's what the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team is hoping for this winter, coming off capturing its first CIF Southern Section Division 1 title. After graduating six starters, do not use the word "rebuilding" to describe CdM.

"Champion" still fits after Sunday night.

CdM completed a stunning run to the Foothill Fall Fling preseason tournament title, topping Back Bay rival Newport Harbor, 6-5, in the final. Sophomore Maddie Musselman scored the winning goal from outside five meters with 2:32 left in the game, capping a whirlwind day in which Musselman also competed in the USA Water Polo Futures 50 Classic.

Musselman helped "Team Athens" take third place in that tournament, beating "Team Beijing," 13-11 in a shootout. She then hopped in the pool with the Sea Kings, also helping them beat Los Alamitos, 7-4, in the semifinals.

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CdM went 6-0 in the Fall Fling. The Sea Kings played the earlier games without Musselman, including a big win over another shorthanded team, Laguna Beach, on Saturday night.

"It's a step in the right direction for us," first-year CdM Coach Ross Sinclair said. "After winning [CIF] last year and losing so many seniors, people were writing us off like maybe we were rebuilding. [But] everyone's believing and buying into it. They're training really hard right now. You know, they're hungry to not roll over and defend the title properly. This is a huge step in that direction.

"They get the experience of playing under the lights for a championship, against a rival. Then getting over the hump and beating them. We've had so many games against them, scrimmages. That's Battle of the Bay for you; it's always a one-goal game no matter what. It's good. I'm happy, but not satisfied."

Sinclair said CdM lost to Newport Harbor, 6-5, in a Monday night league game earlier this fall. They jumped ahead early Sunday night, taking a 3-1 lead after a quarter. Junior Grace Morgan scored CdM's first two goals, then assisted senior Marina Coskinas, who scored on a backhand shot from set.

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