Girls' Water Polo: Hoose leads CdM

In and out of the pool, Corona del Mar High senior Bobbi Hoose is affected by tremors in her hands and arms.

Hoose, a senior captain for the CdM girls' water polo team, has dealt with her condition of having essential familiar tremors her whole life.

"It always happens," she said. "I can't hold coffee, and it's hard for me to write sometimes ... I don't think about it in the game."

In the game, the tremors sometimes make it difficult for her to make fast movements.

But visiting Santa Margarita couldn't tell the difference Wednesday in a key nonleague game at CdM.

Hoose led CdM with three goals as the Sea Kings edged the Eagles, 8-7.

Corona del Mar (22-4) built off its third-place finish at the Irvine Southern California Championships, responding well to its final test before the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs begin next week. The Sea Kings appear to have the No. 3 seed locked up; brackets will be released Sunday at 9 a.m.

Hoose, who tied a season-high goal total against Santa Margarita, led the way. She also had two steals and drew two exclusions in transition. And she keeps positive about her tremors.

"It's kind of hard for me to get the ball super-fast and shoot it ... [but] the tremors kind of give a good fake to the goalie," she said. "It works out well."

Santa Margarita (20-6), the top-ranked, defending Division 2 champion, only led once in the game, when senior Kelli Baumgardner scored the first goal of the contest. But CdM kept pace. Hoose scored a six-on-five goal on Averi Westerman's assist. Then, senior center Marina Coskinas passed out of a double-team to Hoose, who buried the shot from the right side.

The Sea Kings got six-on-five goals from Grace Morgan and Annie Mortimer to take a 4-3 halftime lead. And Mortimer scored again on the power play early in the third quarter, before fouling out.

Santa Margarita trimmed the deficit to 5-4 early in the fourth after sophomore Sophia Baia scored on a give-and-go after winning the sprint. But CdM's Maddie Musselman scored bar-down from center on the Sea Kings' next possession, and Hoose scored again on a power play with 5:13 left in the quarter to put the Sea Kings up three goals.

"Bobbi played great," CdM Coach Ross Sinclair said. "She made a couple of minor mistakes at the beginning that cost us a goal, and it was great to see her bounce back. That's the best thing about her. She'll make a mistake, and it doesn't affect the way she plays. She goes and makes a huge steal, scores a goal or gets a big field block. She's been like that all season. She's really good at moving on to the next opportunity."

Eagles senior Haley Wan scored from the outside with 3:07 left in the game, and Baumgardner added another goal in the final second, but the visitors came up a goal short.

Musselman finished with two field blocks and three ejections drawn for CdM, while Coskinas also drew three ejections. Morgan finished with two steals and three assists, and sophomore goalie Heidi Ritner had another strong game with nine saves.

The Sea Kings finished an impressive five-for-nine in power-play opportunities, while allowing Santa Margarita to convert just one of five such chances.

CdM finishes its regular-season and Pacific Coast League play at Northwood on Thursday.

The Sea Kings could potentially play Back Bay rival Newport Harbor in a CIF quarterfinal game Feb. 22, as the Sailors might fall to No. 6 after losing to Los Alamitos on Wednesday night. CdM is 2-1 against Newport Harbor this season.

"We just wanted to have a good game today," Hoose said. "For the seniors, it's our last year, so we want to go all out until the final whistle."

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