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Costa Mesa boys’ water polo dominant in win over Edison

Costa Mesa's Wes Brazda (4) scores a penalty shot against Edison during the second half in a nonleague game.
Costa Mesa’s Wes Brazda (4) scores a penalty shot against Edison during the second half in a nonleague game in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Costa Mesa High boys’ water polo team hopes to far exceed the length of its playoff journey a year ago.

It was a short-lived postseason appearance that ended with a first-round loss in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

Costa Mesa took a big step forward Tuesday, dismantling the team responsible for that ouster with a 15-7 win over Edison in a nonleague match on the road.

Costa Mesa's Luke De La Jara, top, competes against Edison in a nonleague boys' water polo game on Tuesday.
Costa Mesa’s Luke De La Jara, top, competes against Edison in a nonleague boys’ water polo game in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Wes Brazda had seven goals to lead the Mustangs, who avenged themselves with respect to a 9-8 defeat at the hands of the Chargers in the South Coast Tournament on Sept. 17.

Costa Mesa (8-9) put together back-to-back wins for the first time since a season-opening three-game winning streak, but Brazda said the Mustangs have a deep playoff run in mind — hopefully to the section semifinals or better.

“I think it’s just striving for greatness,” Brazda said. “If you don’t have that mindset, you can’t go anywhere without that kind of mindset.”

Costa Mesa's Dylan Rothen (9) blocks a shot by Edison in a nonleague boys' water polo game in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
Costa Mesa’s Dylan Rothen (9) blocks a shot by Edison in a nonleague boys’ water polo game in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Dylan Rothen also scored five goals for the Mustangs, demonstrating agility and creativity from the center position to get shots off in traffic. He was quick to pounce on a couple of rebounds that resulted in second-chance goals.

Dustin Serrano, who coaches the Mustangs with his twin brother Cody Serrano, said cohesion is the key to success for his team. Costa Mesa managed that in a first half in which it conceded just two goals, holding Edison scoreless in the second quarter.

“We love wins, but playing disciplined and playing together,” Dustin Serrano said. “They’re still learning. They’re still very young. A lot of them play now at different clubs, different atmospheres, so they have different systems, and we just try to make sure that they understand what we want and what we expect. … If one person falls off, the whole chain breaks, and we’re trying to make sure the chain stays strong.”

Edison's Thomas Emerson (11) scores against Costa Mesa during the first half in a nonleague boys' water polo game.
Edison’s Thomas Emerson (11) scores against Costa Mesa during the first half in a nonleague boys’ water polo game on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Nathan Ruiz, Wyatt Juelfs and Luke De La Jara each scored one goal for Costa Mesa, which remains on the road to face Saddleback (13-4) in an Orange Coast League game on Thursday. Both teams are 1-0 in league play.

Ryan Taylor drew the start and made two saves in the first half for Costa Mesa, while Luke Duncan took over the net in the second half and stopped five shots.

Josh Winn’s five-goal performance paced Edison (7-10). Jack McClung and Thomas Emerson also had goals for the Chargers. Edison goalkeeper Hunter Van Meter made eight saves in the first three periods.

Edison's Josh Winn competes against Costa Mesa in a nonleague boys' water polo game in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
Edison’s Josh Winn competes against Costa Mesa in a nonleague boys’ water polo game in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“[The loss] can feel extremely deflating, but I think the reality is, every time we beat [the Mustangs] in the past, it’s the same story,” Edison coach Nick Graffis said. “Two really good teams battling each other out, evenly-matched, and I still think that was the case today.”

The Chargers are 1-1 in Wave League play. Corona del Mar (12-7, 2-0), ranked No. 11 in Division 1, established itself as the league favorite with a 14-3 win over Edison on Sept. 28.

“At the end of the day, our goal is always to win league,” Graffis said. “… I think all of our players are OK with the fact that CdM is going to be the team to beat, and it’s going to be a tall order to do that, but we’re not going to shy away from it.

“Having said that, if we do get second in our league, that’s definitely our secondary goal. It gives us a chance to play in CIF.”

Edison goalkeeper Hunter Van Meter blocks a shot against Costa Mesa in a nonleague boys' water polo game on Tuesday.
Edison goalkeeper Hunter Van Meter blocks a shot against Costa Mesa in a nonleague boys’ water polo game on Tuesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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