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Girls' Water Polo: CdM hangs on

Sea Kings left smiling after close win against Santa Margarita in Holiday Cup quarterfinals.

January 03, 2014|By Matt Szabo

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — Corona del Mar High sophomore Maddie Musselman managed to score a key goal, get a key steal and frustrate her head coach — all within the final minute of the game.

The first two actions were key in helping the Sea Kings earn an 8-6 victory over host Santa Margarita in the Holiday Cup quarterfinals on Friday. Even the third ended up providing a unifying moment for the Sea Kings.

Musselman dumped the ball with seven seconds left on the shot clock. CdM Coach Ross Sinclair, who ended up a bit aggravated by this, said after the game that she was looking at the scoreboard and saw a "one," which she thought indicated the shot clock but actually indicated that CdM had one timeout left. CdM dodged a bullet after the dump, as an Eagles counterattack pass was stolen by goalie Heidi Ritner.

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The happy-go-lucky Musselman eventually smiled at her coach barking at her during the ensuing timeout, and soon her teammates in the water were smiling and laughing with her.

"They know it's never anything personal," said Sinclair, who himself managed to crack a smile. "It's always to help everybody out ... The best coaches I ever played for are the ones that knew when to push you and knew when to let off. Of course [I smiled]. It's fun; I love this."

CdM (4-0) will play tournament favorite Laguna Beach in a semifinal game at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Newport Harbor High. The host Sailors face Foothill in the first semifinal at 10:40. The championship game is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.

The Sea Kings expected a battle against Santa Margarita (4-1) and they got it, even after taking a 4-1 halftime lead behind goals from seniors Marina Coskinas and Bobbi Hoose, junior Eliza Britt and Musselman. The game was intense, as Sinclair and Eagles Coach Brian Weathersby both received yellow cards in the opening quarter.

Santa Margarita senior Haley Wan scored twice in the third quarter to bring the hosts closer. Her third goal of the game, from the outside, pulled defending CIF Southern Section Division 2 champion Santa Margarita within 5-4 headed into the final quarter.

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