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Kings beat the Tartans to advance to title game.

CDM beat St. Margaret's 13-4 to advance to the South Division championship game.
On a cold and windy evening at Portola High School, top-seeded Corona del Mar (18-2) advanced to the 2017 CIF Southern Section South Division championship with an impressive 13-4 victory over fourth-seed St. Margaret's (11-9). The win marks the second time this season the Sea Kings have gotten the best of the Tartans. On April 19th, CDM (18-2) beat St. Margaret's 12-4 in San Juan Capistrano. The Sea King seniors have won 6 of the 7 meetings between the two schools since their freshman season in 2014.

"What an effort by those kids," commented CDM head coach G.W. Mix. "This is always a difficult task. Year in and year out, they are a talented, athletic, and well-coached team. It's always more challenging preparing for someone you have beaten earlier in the season. We learned that lesson the hard way in 2015. I thought our kids did a great job of paying attention to that particular element. Now we have to do it all over again."

With the win, CDM faces third-seed Foothill in the South Division Championship. The Knights (13-10) upset second-seed San Clemente 14-9 in the first semi-final last night. Wednesday's game will mark the second time the Sea Kings and Knights will play in 2017. Corona del Mar won the regular-season match-up between the two schools 11-4 at CDM on March 18th. 

In the win against St. Margaret's, seniors Will Favreau (Att/Mid) and Kyle Young (Att/Mid) each had three goals to pace the Sea Kings. Fellow senior Sachin Gokhale (Att/Mid) led all scorers with six points, recording two goals and four assists. Senior midfielder Ryan Meckler had two goals and an assist. Junior midfielders Blaine Nelsen and Bobby Purcifull each added a goal. Senior face-off specialist Nick Puglia had an impressive outing, winning 11 of 19 draws and a scoring once in the fourth quarter.

Perhaps the most impressive performance of the evening was at the defensive end. Sophomore goalie Kyle Cord had 10 saves and allowed just 4 Tartan goals (.714 save %). Cord and the CDM defense were relentless, holding St. Margaret's scoreless for the first two and a half quarters. 

"Our defense is sound," Mix added. "They play hard and are capable of applying pressure in a lot of areas. They can make getting into an offensive rhythm very difficult. Our offense has to try and deal with it every day in practice."

Senior defensemen Jordan Pakzad (Rutgers) and Brennan Greenwald (Drexel) lead the way, along with junior Landon Whitney and sophomore Kenan Ressler. 

The CIF Southern Section South Division Championship will be on Wednesday, May 10th at 7:30 PM at Irvine High School.