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Boys' Water Polo: CdM earns share of title

Sea Kings edge Northwood to keep league title streak alive, but lose coin flip for top designation for CIF.

November 05, 2013|By Matt Szabo
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

IRVINE — This was not how Matt Sherburne wanted the last regular-season game of his high school career to end.

The Corona del Mar High senior center was excluded twice in the first quarter of Tuesday's huge Pacific Coast League finale at Northwood.

When Sherburne came back in during the second half, many of his shots seemed to end up clanging off the crossbar or in the hands of Northwood goalie Tim Shaw.

The Sea Kings, who needed to win to clinch a co-Pacific Coast League title, were down by a goal headed into the fourth quarter. Would Sherburne be a part of the first CdM senior class in well more than a decade to not win league?

Sherburne did not fret. He kept drawing exclusions, helping CdM stay in the contest. And he also kept shooting.

The last shot, a lob, also clanged off the bar, but there was senior Charlie Rodosky on the rebound. Rodosky scored the game-winning goal with 1:08 left, helping lift CdM to a 9-8 victory that means the Sea Kings and Timberwolves share the league title.

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Northwood won a coin flip after the game, meaning the Timberwolves (9-1 in league) will be the league's top representative for the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs that begin next week. But Tuesday's victory was still huge for CdM (16-11, 9-1 in league).

The Sea Kings have won at least a share of 15 straight league titles. They needed to win Tuesday to keep that streak going after losing to Northwood, 11-10, at home last month, their first league setback in 10 years.

"It was a huge deal for us," said Sherburne, who led all players with five goals and drew four exclusions. Like in the teams' first meeting, CdM Coach Barry O'Dea instructed Sherburne to stay in the offensive end near the end of the game, leading to counterattack opportunities.

"That was fun," said Sherburne, CdM's only returning varsity contributor from a year ago. "It seems to kind of throw them off, because the last time we played them we did the same thing, and it worked."

It again paid off. Sherburne earned an exclusion then scored the goal with 6:28 left, tying the score at 7-7. Then, after CdM junior Jack Trush earned an exclusion, Sherburne struck from five meters to give CdM an 8-7 lead with 4:14 to go.

Northwood tied the score on its next possession, as senior Josh Hayaski scored from the left side on six-on-five.

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