GWP: Dons done in by No. 1 CDM

Santa Barbara High’s Betsy Hendrix can’t get a good look at the goal with Corona del Mar defender Ally McCormick applying pressure. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Corona del Mar’s top-ranked girls water polo team picked up the pace in the second half of Saturday’s game at Santa Barbara High, scoring seven times in the final two periods to secure an 8-6 victory over the third-ranked Dons.

Without their three best players, freshman Maddie Musselman stepped up to lead the Sea Queens with four goals – all in the second half – before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Both of Ally McCormick’s goals also came in the second half.

Sophie Trabucco and Claire Bergthold accounted for all of Santa Barbara’s scoring with three goals each.

After shutting out Corona del Mar in the second quarter, the Dons went into the third quarter with a 2-1 advantage. The Dons led again at 3-2 before four straight goals from the Sea Queens changed the game’s landscape in a hurry.

From there Santa Barbara played from behind. The Dons pulled to 6-7 in the fourth quarter but Morgan Stewart’s only goal of the game put it out of reach.

Santa Barbara, ranked No. 3 in Division 1 in the preseason polls, finds itself 0-2 after losses to Foothill on Friday and CDM on Saturday.

“The fact that Corona del Mar was missing their three best players let’s us know that we’re not near where we need to be. Overall, I’m highly disapointed,” said Dons head coach Mark Walsh.

The No. 1 Sea Queens were without blue-chip recruits Cassidy Papa and sisters Stephania and Ioanna Haralabidis. Papa is committed to Stanford and the Haralabidis’s are heading to USC. The trio was missing because they are competing at the FINA Youth World Championships in Australia.

Even without their top stars, CDM comes home with a 2-0 record with wins over the No. 3 and No. 7 teams in Division 1. CDM edged Dos Pueblos 11-10 the day before. CDM moves on to face Murrieta in the Sea Queens’ home opener next Saturday.

The Dons return to the pool on Tuesday for their Channel League opener vs. San Marcos.

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