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Mustangs make a splash to open 2013-14 girls water polo season Phillip Brents | Thu, Dec 12 2013 10:39 PM

The Otay Ranch High School girls water polo team keeps surprising head coach Ernie Medina, and surprising him in a positive way.

The Mustangs, stripped of a ton of graduated talent from last season Mesa League’ tri-championship team, improved to 4-0 after defeating the Mira Mesa Marauders, 13-1, Tuesday at the Loma Verde pool.

“I did not think that our team would do as well as its has,” Medina said. “The girls have all stepped up to the challenge of playing as a team — I don't have one big play-maker this season, I have seven. This is what the girls have expressed to me. They want to do well again and make the playoffs.”

The teams in our conference are all good enough to bid for the title (but) Otay Ranch seems to find a way.”

It’s too early to start talking about league banners but it’s not too early to talk about the Mustangs’ unexpectedly strong start to the season.

Fernanda Arambula had five goals, two assists, six steals, two ejections earned and one five-meter penalty shot earned while teammate Gabby Nunez had five goals and seven steals.

Other contributors included Camy Benitez with one goal and one ejection earned, Kendra Gregory with one goal, seven steals, one assist and one ejection earned, Alexis Lopez with one goal, three steals and one assist, Monica Salcedo with one assist and four steals, Karina Espinosa with one assist and one steal and Emma Cornwell with eight goalie saves, one assist and two steals.

Otay Ranch opened the season with a 17-2 non-league victory at Monte Vista on Dec. 5 and followed that up with ensuing non-league wins against Point Loma (9-2 on Dec. 6) and Olympian (19-1 on Dec. 7), both at the Loma Verde pool.

In the season opener against the Monarchs, Cornwell had 14 saves, two assists and two steals while Nunez had five goals, six steals, one ejection earned and one assist, Arambula had four goals, five steals, two ejections earned, one five-meter earned and one assist, Benitez had two goals, four steals, one ejection earned, three assists an one five-meter earned, Katie Sutterfield had two goals and four steals, Salcedo had one goal and two steals, Lopez had one goal and one assist, Gregory had one goal and two steals and Espinosa had one goal.

Cornwell keyed the Mustangs with 16 goalie saves and two steals in the win over Point Loma. Offensive production came from Gregory with three goals, Arambula with two goals, six steals, four ejections earned and one five-meter earned, Lopez with two goals, one steal and one assist, Nunez with one goal and three steals, Espinosa with one goal, Benitez with three steals, three ejections earned and one assist and Salcedo with one steal and one assist.

Cornwell had 13 saves, one goal, two steals and one assist in the win over Olympian while Arambula had five goals, four steals, two assists, three ejections earned, Nunez had four goals, two assists and two steals, Gregory had three goals and one steal, Benitez had two goals, one assist, three steals and one ejection earned, Salcedo had one goal, four steals and one assist, Lopez had one goal, two steals and one assist, Espinosa had one goal and Michelle Green had one goal.

The Mustangs will put their undefeated record on the line when they next play in the Winter Festival beginning Monday, Dec 16.

“Otay has a very tough bracket with Helix and Scripps Ranch,” Medina noted. “The tournament hosts very good teams like Valhalla, Granite Hills, Torrey Pines, Scripps Ranch, Canyon Irvine and Capistrano Valley. Otay is the only South Bay team in it this season.”

Other scores involving Metro Conference teams:

Mar Vista 17, Escondido 8
Valley Center 15, Hilltop 4
Mar Vista defeated Hilltop, score unavailable
Westview defeated Hilltop, score unavailable
Mission Hills 13, Eastlake 5
Fallbrook 15, Eastlake 8
Bonita Vista 7, Monte Vista 6
Point Loma 10, Hilltop 5
Escondido 18, Olympian 2

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