Corona del Mar girls water polo wins CIF – SS Division 1 title


Aliyah Cohen, Journalist

Corona del Mar High School’s girls varsity water polo team clinched the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title for their 2021-2022 season, defeating the number one seed Agoura High School. The last time the Sea Queens won a title was in 2013. Fans packed the stands at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine on Saturday, February 19. Fans included family members, friends, and even Corona del Mar High School students. “It’s been a grind training this season, and it was so cool seeing my friends supporting us in the stands,” said junior Aubrie Anderson. The CdM’s girls junior varsity team made dozens of colorful posters to support their fellow Sea Queens’. Other students at CdM also made posters to support their peers in the pool.

The game was intense, and the score was tight for the four quarters, even up until the last seconds of the championship game. Freshman Didi Evans scored the game’s first goal, and both teams exchanged goals for the remainder of the four quarters. Junior Aubrie Anderson scored the ultimate game-winning goal with a perfect pass from senior Claire Eusey in the game’s final four minutes. Agoura then scored, trailing the Sea Queens by one with under three minutes to go. The final buzzer sounded, and the Sea Queens leaped into the pool, thinking they had just won the game 8-7. However, the officials ruled that there was still one second left on the game clock even though the shot clock expired and sounded. Roars erupted from the stands, and head coach Melissa Seidmann stood in disbelief. Agoura was rewarded with a 5- meter, or in other words, a penalty shot. Those who jumped in had to get out of the pool and return to the bench. The girls playing at that moment remained in the pool and anxiously watched. “I remember crossing my fingers as hard as possible,” said senior Aliyah Cohen. Junior goalie Sarah Decker remained composed, without any sign of fear or worry. When the penalty shot was taken, Sarah lunged and was in the perfect position to block the shot successfully, but instead, the player missed and hit the goal post. The crowd exploded in cheers and applause; the Sea Queens won the game. The team hesitated to jump in but leaped in the pool when they got the thumbs up from the officials.

Seniors Mia Bernhoit, Aliyah Cohen, and Claire Eusey each contributed one goal for CdM. Junior Emily Cloherty scored two goals for CdM, and other juniors Aubrie Anderson and Jillian Schlom both had one goal. Freshman Didi Evans added a goal for CdM as well. Junior goalie Sarah Decker played a phenomenal game and secured eight blocks for the Sea Queens. Decker mentioned how exhilarating the game was and how amazing it was to have all her teammates supporting her.