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Sharp counterattack carries Costa Mesa
An aggressive counterattack. Excellent speed. And a decisive victory in a league game it needed.
Signs of progress for Costa Mesa's girls water polo program surfaced early and often Wednesday night as the Mustangs sprinted past host Godinez, 10-2, to take sole possession of second place in the Orange Coast League.
Costa Mesa (14-8, 2-1) used a stingy defense and the long outlet passes of goalie Kaitlyn Hill to fuel a counterattack that produced seven goals.
Costa Mesa senior Kellie Thorsness scored two of her team-high four goals on counterattacks to lead six Mustangs in scoring.
Fellow senior Aubry Hill, the older sister of Kaitlyn, helped spark the counterattack with seven steals. She also scored twice on the counterattack.
Sophomore Lauren Smith added five steals as Costa Mesa scored the first 10 goals and took a shut out against the Grizzlies (11-14, 0-2) into the final 1 1/2 minutes of the fourth.
"They're fast," Godinez coach Erin Sloan said of Costa Mesa. "Their speed killed us."
Aubry Hill said the Mustangs have worked hard to build their speed.
"We're swimming mornings two or three times a week," she said. "We're (a) much better (team) than last year."
Costa Mesa still needs to contend with Saddleback in league next week but will tune up for that match with nonleague matches Friday and Saturday against Edison and Huntington Beach from the powerhouse Sunset League.
The date with Edison is a subtle sign of growth for Costa Mesa.
Coach Tim Postiff is trying to prepare his team for the rigors of the Division 1 playoffs by playing a more-challenging schedule.
"I'm excited," Aubry Hill said of the nonleague games. "I like the challenge."
Another positive sign for Costa Mesa is the continued growth of Costa Mesa Aquatics Club, which is run out of Costa Mesa High.
"It's a great thing having (our) pool," Postiff said.
Colleen Sloan had a goal and assist late for Godinez while goalie Aylin Castro added four of her six saves in the fourth.
No. 1 Foothill 12, Long Beach Wilson 6: Attacker Brenna Thomas scored a season-high five goals to lead the host Knights (17-2).
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