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Girls' water polo: Mustangs fall in wild-card round

Season ends as young Mesa squad, missing two starters, loses to Woodbridge.

February 18, 2014|By Matt Szabo

Costa Mesa High girls' water polo coach Tim Postiff and senior Devon Christensen both used the word "youth" after the game.

The Mustangs' youth provides hope for the future, but it also was their undoing Tuesday evening in a CIF Southern Section Division 1 wild-card game.

Visiting Woodbridge jumped out to an early lead and posted a 16-4 victory at Costa Mesa High, ending Costa Mesa's season.

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Sophomore Shawna Kedzie paced the Warriors (13-10) with five goals, all in the first half.

"They had some sold players, so we knew what we were going to be up against," Postiff said. "It was a matter of shutting [Kedzie] down, and we just didn't do it."

Costa Mesa (9-17) played without two starters, juniors Hayley Peterson and Kirsten Gyorgy. Postiff said that Peterson was visiting colleges in the Bay Area.

The Mustangs, the third-place team from the Orange Coast League, were behind by three goals before Christensen scored their first goal, from the left with 3:55 to play in the first quarter.

Twice in the opening frame, Mesa junior Lauren Smith drew exclusions, but the Mustangs couldn't capitalize on their six-on-five chances. The quarter ended with Woodbridge up, 7-1.

Alexa Clayfield and Tina Frechette also scored four goals in the contest for the Warriors, an at-large team after finishing fourth in the Pacific Coast League. The balanced scoring pleased Woodbridge Coach Jared Gray. So did the fact that his usual junior varsity goalie, sophomore Hannah Leeper, made seven saves. Leeper filled in after the starting keeper, junior Courtney McNatt, was a late scratch due to sickness.

"She played great," Gray said of Leeper, who needed to make just one save in the first half. "She had no notice. We found this out right as we were getting on the bus."

Costa Mesa fell behind, 11-1, at halftime. Senior Jenesa Ramirez, Smith and junior Bridgette Smitheram added second-half goals for the Mustangs, while goalie Antonia Velasquez made three goals and had two steals.

The Mustangs were already young this season, but Christensen (cracked ribs and a concussion) and Ramirez (elbow) both missed substantial time during the season as well.

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