CdM two games away

With two juniors and two sophomores as its top four scorers, the future appears bright for the Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team.

But tonight, that future is now.

The Sea Kings are two games away from their ultimate prize.

No. 3-seeded Corona del Mar plays No. 7 Foothill in a CIF Southern Section Division I semifinal at 5:30, at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center.

CdM (21-7) put together one of its best games of the season in a 10-5 quarterfinal victory over Santa Barbara on Friday. The Sea Kings are led by juniors Pippa Saunders (64 goals) and Diana Murphy (61), as well as sophomores Ally McCormick (57 goals) and Cassidy Papa (54).

That's good scoring balance to go along with one of the top goalies in CIF, junior Alex Musselman (313 saves).

CdM Coach Sam Bailey's Pacific Coast League champions defeated Foothill, 10-5, in a nonleague game Jan. 7 at CdM. Five of the Sea Kings' goals came on the counterattack.

But the Knights (18-10) are also coming off a big quarterfinal win, an 11-10 sudden-death overtime upset of No. 2-seeded Los Alamitos. Senior Kelli Boling, a left-hander bound for San Diego State, had seven goals in that game.

Junior center McKenna Mitchell leads the Knights, the Century League champions, with 65 goals.

Corona del Mar is trying to make its second Division I title game appearance in three years. The Sea Kings have not won a CIF title since moving up to the division in 2006-07.

Top-seeded Dos Pueblos, the two-time defending champion, plays Laguna Beach in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. at Woollett.

The championship game is on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., also at Woollett.

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