Two senior players from the defending Metro-Mesa League champion Otay Ranch Mustangs were selected to participate in last Saturday's San Diego Girls Water Polo All-Star Game at the Alga Norte Carlsbad pool in Carlsbad. Emma Cornwell was selected to play goalie while Fernanda Arambula was selected to play defensive center for the Division I Large School team.
Cornwell, who has accepted a scholarship to continue her career at the collegiate level at USC, was recognized as the Mustangs’ 2013-14 Most Valuable Player at the team’s recent awards banquet. She allowed three goals while making eight saves in the first half of play as the Small Schools team took a 3-1 lead.
ORHS coach Ernie Medina noted that Cornwell "played well" in the game, an eventual 10-1 Small Schools victory.
Arambula did not pariticipate because of a prior commitment to a college recruiting trip. Eastlake's Karen Vasquez also represented the Metro Conference in the all-star game.
Cornwell was named to the Mustangs' Hall of Fame for Division I college athletes and her cap number was retired. Other retired cap numbers on the team include Christina Allison (No. 16) as the first Mustang to receive an athletic scholarship (to Sienna); Roni Coffer (No. 6), who went on to play collegiate water polo at SDSU; Sarah Medina (No. 10), now playing collegiate water polo at UC Irvine.
Medina noted that Cornwell’s name also has been entered in San Diego Section record book for 18 saves in one game, 595 saves in her career and five single-season goalie shutouts.
“She also scored nine goals from the cage and blocked eight five- meter penalty shots — both of these are pretty unheard of,” Medina said.
The girls water polo program was established in 2004 at Otay Rancg. Since then, the Mustangs have won seven league championships, including five consecutive, made six appearances in the section playoffs, garnered seven league MVPs, produced five Division 1 college athletes, one Division II college athlete, seven community college athletes and five Division 1 college club athletes.
Medina, whose career coaching record now includes 304 victories, further noted that in the past two years, the varsity starters on the school’s girls water polo team have compiled a grade-point average of 3.85 or higher.
The team’s top five seniors will be attending USC, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Fullerton and Grand Canyon University.