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CDM rolls, rallies & holds on to defeat Mullen 9-8

Sophomores Sherwin Gersten (8) and Max Kline (18) celebrate a goal with senior Todd Kitzens.
Corona del Mar continued its impressive stand against some of the best teams in the West, with a 9-8 win over visiting Mullen (CO). The Mustangs (6-2) came into the game ranked #2 in Colorado by LaxPower. The win improves the Sea Kings record to 9-0 and 3-0 against non-Orange County teams from the western region (Fort Collins, Monte Vista and Mullen).

Led by outstanding performances at the face-off X from junior Kaden Ebbinga and sophomore Nino Chavez, CDM took a 3-2 lead into the lockerroom at the half, increased the margin to 7-2 before fighting off a furious Mustang comeback to secure the win.

"This was a big win for us," said CDM head coach G.W. Mix. "They were a solid athletic team. We had some young players step up and make some big plays today. They went on a few big runs. I thought the kids did a pretty good job of controlling most of the momentum swings without us having to use our timeouts to try and put a stop to it. It was a good learning experience."

Sophomore midfielder Sherwin Gersten (2g,0a) scored the opening two goals for the Sea Kings. The first unassisted. The second off an assist from Jack Ortlieb (Sr/Attack).

Ortlieb (3g,2a) followed with one of his own to give CDM a 3-2 lead at the end of the first half.

The early part of the third quarter belonged to the host Sea Kings. Ortlieb scored his second of the day just three minutes into the third stanza. Junior Kaden Ebbinga increased the margin to 5-2 off an assist from senior Todd Kitzens (0g, 2a) . Senior Casey Mix (2g,1a) added an unassisted goal with 5:10 remaining and Todd Kitzens found sophomore Max Kline two minutes later to make the score 7-2.

Then it was Mullen's turn. The visitors scored three straight goals to close the gap to 7-5 at the end of three. They opend the fourth with a goal to close within one (7-6).

Less than a minute later, Mix scored his second of the day to increase CDM's lead to 8-6.

Mullen took advantage of a Sea King penalty and converted the extra-man opportunity with one second remaining on the penalty to bring the Mustangs back within one. Two minutes later, Mullen scored again to tie the game with 6:35 remaining.

Less than a minute after Mullen made it 8-8, Mix found Ortlieb for the go ahead goal at the 5:44 mark. 

CDM maintained possession for most of the last five minutes. Mullen had a last second clearing opportunity, in which they used a trick play hiding a player deep in the corner on the bench side of the field. The play was thwarted at the last second by the Sea King defense.

Sophomore goalie Hoyt Crance had 11 saves (.578 SV%), including a critical save with less than two minutes remaining and a big defensive play on the Mustangs' last second clearing play to help seal the victory. 

The Sea Kings have little time to enjoy the victory, as they host Los Alamitos (9-2) on Saturday at 12:00 PM.