The Corona del Mar High girls' water polo team beat top-seeded Foothill, 11-10, to win the California High School Championships at CdM Sunday.
Last year, the Sea Kings finished second. But this year they would not be denied.
Incoming sophomore Avery Warwick got No. 3-seeded CdM on the board first scoring on a skip shot to stake the Sea Kings to a 1-0 lead . A couple possessions later incoming senior Diana Murphy scored the first of her game-high five goals to give CdM a 2-1 lead. Murphy was the tournament's overall top scorer with 27 goals in six games.
CdM played the three-day tourney without starting attackers Ally McCormick and Cassidy Papa. Papa is in Hungary with the U.S. women's youth national team. Coach Sam Bailey and assistant Brian Mericle had their other starters and reserves step up big-time at both ends of the pool.
Junior-to-be Morgan Stewart had a hat-trick scoring the fifth, seventh and tenth goals of the game for CdM. Stewart was CdM's second leading scorer for the tourney with 10 goals.
Incoming senior Pippa Saunders and junior-to-be Genevieve Weed rounded out the scoring for the Sea Kings with one goal each. Saunders led the way with five assists while Victoria Pierotti assisted on four goals.
Goalie Alex Musselman stopped 12 shots and anchored the stellar CdM defense as they were able to get out ahead at halftime 7-4, a lead they never relinquished. Musselman had 69 saves in 6 games.
The other Sea Kings who contributed productive minutes in the championship game were incoming freshman Eliza Britt and incoming sophomores Bobbi Hoose and Marina Coskinas. The three underclassmen all contributed solid play throughout the tournament.
CdM defeated the No. 2 seed Santa Barbara in overtime, 8-6, in the semifinals. After finishing regulation tied 6-6, Pierotti scored the game-winner in the first overtime period to seal the victory over the Dons. In the quarterfinals, CdM defeated a tough Davis squad, 10-2. The Sea Kings finished first in bracket play on Friday by defeating San Marcos, Irvine and Sacred Heart Prep.
The State High School Championship is held annually and includes 32 teams from all over California in a three-day summer tournament that was held this year at CdM, Santa Margarita, Santa Ana Valley and Villa Park High Schools.
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Newport boys third; girls fifth
The No. 4-seeded Newport Harbor High boys' water polo team took third place at the California State High School Championships with an 8-2 victory over Los Alamitos Sunday at Newport Harbor.
The Sailors opened the tournament with wins over Los Altos (12-3), San Clemente (11-4), Clovis West (13-3) and Agoura (9-4) before falling to eventual champion Mater Dei (8-4).
The No. 7-seeded Newport Harbor girls' water polo team took fifth place in the girls' tournament with a 10-6 victory over El Toro. The Newport Harbor girls racked up victories against St. Francis (11-4), Clovis (14-2), Vista (14-3) and Davis (8-3).
Newport Harbor competed without incoming senior Maddy McLaren, who is on the U.S. women's youth national team that is in Hungary.
Both teams now have their sights set on the Junior Olympics with the boys starting Saturday and the girls Aug. 4.
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