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Foothill Wins South Coast Title

September 29, 1996|ERIK HAMILTON

In a matchup of the top two Division I teams, Foothill edged Long Beach Wilson, 8-7, Saturday in the championship final of the South Coast water polo tournament at Newport Harbor High.

The winning goal was scored at the 4:26 mark of the fourth quarter when Kevin McKee made an outstanding effort to pass the ball to Matt McPherson. McPherson scooted the ball under the outstretched arms of Wilson goalie Nick Hill. A minute earlier, Jeff Pflueger had tied the score.

A key to Foothill's victory was the outstanding defensive play of Robby Arroyo and Jeremy Katz, each of whom had some crucial steals and blocks in the game. Goalie Nick Ellis also contributed, recording seven saves.

Foothill (8-0), ranked first in Division I and the county, appeared flat in the first quarter as a more aggressive Wilson team quickly scored twice, on goals by Sean McEachern and Peter Joseph.

Two-meter man Matt Ellis put Foothill back in the game with a goal six minutes into the first quarter, but Wilson followed with another goal by Mike Komrosky for a 3-1 lead.

Earlier, Wilson (7-1), ranked second in Division I, squashed Costa Mesa, 17-8, in a semifinal game. However, Foothill had a much harder time in its semifinal match with San Clemente, pulling out the 8-7 victory in the late going.

Saturday, Wilson kept the pressure on in the second quarter with Tony Azevedo scoring twice and Joseph scoring his second for the Bruins. But despite Wilson's aggressive style, Foothill settled down as Katz, a senior, scored two goals and McKee added one.

"We've been working really hard on our defense, so I'm really proud in the way our team performed in this tournament," Foothill Coach Jim Brumm said. "Wilson has a very talented team with lots of weapons. So to be able to come from behind and win like this is really good."

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