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Haralabidis leads Corona del Mar into semifinals
Corona del Mar's season-long chemistry project passed a critical test Saturday.
With Greek transfer Stephania Haralabidis playing the role of scorer and distributor, and goalie Erica Weed anchoring the defense, Corona del Mar's third-seeded girls water polo team rallied past visiting No. 6 Los Alamitos, 7-5, in a CIF Division 1 quarterfinal.
The Griffins (22-7) led, 2-0, with less than three minutes left in the second period but Corona del Mar (25-4) grabbed the lead in the middle of the third and sprinted into Wednesday's semifinals.
Corona del Mar plays No. 2 seed Foothill, a 13-5 winner against San Marcos.
Haralabidis scored the first two goals of the second half on assists by Genevieve Weed and Cassidy Papa to give Corona del Mar a 4-3 lead. The left-hander then dished out a pair of assists in the fourth period.
Haralabidis and freshman Maddie Musselman each finished with two goals while Ally McCormick, Marina Coskinas and Genevieve Weed added one apiece.
"I believe now we are family," Haralabidis said. "The truth is from the beginning, when (we) first came here, the only person I was looking for was my sister (Ioanna). ... But then as we went on, our coaches made us try and play as a team and as you can see, we're playing as a team."
In the fourth, Haralabidis won the sprint and fed Coskinas, who scored from center for a 5-3 lead.
After Los Alamitos' Shannon Crowley responded with her own goal from center, Haralabidis threaded a cross pass in front of the goal to Genevieve Weed, who scored for a 6-4 lead with 5:01 left.
The Griffins trimmed the lead once more on a skip-shot by Ella Weber but Musselman sealed the victory with a power-play strike on a pass from Papa to make it 7-5 with 1:25 left. "You play like a senior," Los Alamitos coach Dave Carlson told Musselman afterward.
Erica Weed finished with 11 saves, including five in the third. "She's pretty amazing," Haralabidis said.
Stephanie Mutafyan led Los Alamitos with two goals and stayed in after breaking her pinkie finger on her left (non-shooting) hand in the second. Nikki Quinn added 10 saves. "I think that these girls have over-achieved all year," Carlson said of the Griffins.
In other Division 1 games:
Foothill 13, San Marcos 5: Brenna Thomas and Nikki Stansfield each scored three goals to help pace the host Knights (25-3).
Newport Harbor 11, Laguna Beach 10 (OT): Makenzie Fischer scored with 27 seconds left to help the host Breakers (19-10) force overtime but the Sailors (23-6) netted the first two goals of overtime to advance to Wednesday's semifinals against top-seeded Santa Barbara. Christina O'Beck and Carolyn Smith scored in overtime for Newport Harbor. Fischer finished with six goals.
Santa Barbara 13, Irvine 4: The host Dons (25-4) won their 19th consecutive game.