STUDIO CITY — That may have been Long Beach Millikan High in Harvard-Westlake's pool on Thursday in a first-round game of the Southern Section Division I playoffs against the Wolverines, but the hosts were thinking about another foe.
Harvard-Westlake Coach Rich Corso watched his team dismantle Millikan, 15-2, then confessed to not having prepared much for the contest.
"We've been preparing for Foothill ever since they came out with the seeds," Corso said, referring to the opponent the Wolverines would face in the second round, assuming Harvard-Westlake and Foothill won in the first round.
Foothill defeated Capistrano Valley, 11-7, setting up a game against Harvard-Westlake on Tuesday at a place to be determined today by a coin flip.
"We spent about 45 minutes before this game talking about Millikan," Corso said. "I know enough about them that we didn't need to go over films and scouting reports."
Foothill, seeded second in Division I, has defeated the Wolverines in the Section quarterfinals the past two years. The Knights also defeated Harvard-Westlake, 11-5, in the Southern California Invitational earlier this season.
"It's our turn to reverse the cycle," Corso said. "I feel real good about it. We know them well."
Even in victory, Corso couldn't keep Foothill off his mind. He held a 30-minute impromptu practice, focused on the power play, immediately after shaking hands with Millikan.
"When you get into a championship setting like this, you need the power play," Corso said.
The Wolverines (17-5) displayed that power play in Thursday's game, scoring on four of six man-advantage situations.
They also displayed tremendous depth against Millikan (14-10), with 10 different players scoring in Corso's aggressive substitution pattern.
Goalie Brendan Connolly had nine saves to lead a defense that had 16 steals and did not allow a goal until there were 2 minutes 8 seconds left to play in the first half.
David Stone, Jason Malinsky, Peter Hudnut, Phillip Spataru and Mike Crosby each scored twice for Harvard-Westlake.
In another Division I first-round game:
El Toro 14, Crespi 5--Ricky Bejune scored three goals for Crespi (10-15) at El Toro. Adam Driscoll made nine saves.
Crescenta Valley 10, Mira Costa 7--Goalie Brian Hasbrouck had 12 saves and Tony Kuleto scored five goals for the Falcons (18-8) at Crescenta Valley.
Hasbrouck has 296 saves this season, breaking the school season record of 286 set by Ken Lee in 1986.
Also for Crescenta Valley, Kenny Carpenter and Neil Reynolds each scored two goals.
El Segundo 26, Burroughs 13--Alfonso Tucay had 10 goals for Burroughs (9-15) at El Segundo. Jon Puffer had 10 goals for El Segundo (21-6).
La Canada 16, Whittier 11--Brendan Naeve scored six goals and David Stoeckly had five to lead La Canada (14-14) at Whittier. Sophomore Michael McDay scored two goals and goalie Russell Bernstein had seven saves.
Peninsula 12, Glendale 3--Hamlet Barsegian scored two goals and Baxter Cepeda had one for Glendale (17-8).