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Roundup: Thorn sharp in goal as Pacifica advances
Through an up-and-down season, the one constant for the Pacifica girls water polo team has been the play of goalkeeper Melissa Thorn.
Thorn came up big for the Mariners (20-10) – she notched 19 saves – as they rolled past Culver City, 9-6, on Wednesday in the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals at Santa Ana Valley High.
Pacifica advances to face Empire League rival Yorba Linda in the championship game Saturday at the Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.
"I'm really proud of them," Mariners coach Eric Anderson said of his players. "They've gone through 10 losses this season. It's helped them to deal with adversity."
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 6. Sadie Bryan scored 34 seconds into the period, and Pacifica held the Centaurs (24-2) scoreless in the final frame. Caroline Thorn, Melissa's sister, scored four goals to lead Pacifica. Kassie Winn and Sarah Camburn added two goals each.
In the second half, the Mariners made an adjustment by double-teaming Culver City's main threat, Ruth Basurto.
In the other Division 6 semifinal:
Yorba Linda 11, Palm Desert 6: Rebecca Stephenson had 12 saves, and the Mustangs advanced to their first girls water polo championship game in school history by defeating the Aztecs (22-9) at Santa Ana Valley High.
Brittany Amaya, Taylor Best, Casey Burke and Jessica Castellano recorded multi-goal games for the Mustangs (20-4).
Yorba Linda trailed, 2-1, after surrendering the first goal of the second quarter, but the Mustangs responded with four goals in a span of two minutes to take a 5-2 lead into halftime.
In other semifinals:
In Division 4:
Troy 8, Los Altos of Hacienda Heights 6: Grace Schade scored the go-ahead goal with 2:08 left, and Jessica Harris made nine of her 15 saves in the second half as the second-seeded Warriors (24-8) rallied past Los Altos at the Brenda Villa Aquatic Center in Commerce to reach their first section final.
Troy trailed, 6-2, at halftime but stormed back to reach Saturday's final against La Serna of Whittier.
In Division 7:
Ocean View 5, Chino 4: Kate Bosselman scored twice to lead the top-seeded Seahawks (23-8) to victory at Segerstrom and reach their first section final. Cami McNabb sealed the victory with a late save, sending Ocean View to the finals Saturday against Hemet.