Randy Angel

Mira Costa advances to boys water polo semifinals with thrilling victory

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Sam Siltanen scored with six seconds left in regulation to give Mira Costa a 7-6 victory over visiting Tesoro. Photo by Ray Vidal

The top four seeds reached the semifinals of the Division 3 CIF Southern Section/Ford Boys Water Polo Championship where second-seeded Mira Costa and fourth-seeded Palos Verdes hope to make it an all-Bay League championship contest.

Second-seeded Mira Costa (19-9) will face third-seeded M.L. King (24-8) at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine. Fourth-seeded Palos Verdes (25-5) will take on top-ranked La Canada (21-8) at 3:30 p.m.

Mira Costa lost to King 8-7 in triple overtime in the Coronado Tournament in September but defeated the Wolves 8-5 in the Villa Park Tournament in late October.

Mira Costa advances after edging Tesoro 7-6 when Sam Siltanen scored with six seconds remaining in regulation to give the Mustangs the win in a physical, see-saw battle.

Cody Kelley and Mitch Trainoff each scored two goals with Jimmy Bissell, Siltanen and Gabe Smith adding solo goals while goalkeeper Ian Zaun had seven saves for the Mustangs.

Mira Costa held a 3-1 lead at halftime of the low-scoring, penalty-filled match before Tesoro roared back scoring three unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead into the final frame.

Kelley evened the score with the first goal of a wild fourth quarter then Smith put Mira Costa ahead 5-4. The tenacious Tesoro team came back making it 5-5 before the Mustangs and Titans swapped goals making it 6-6 with 6:24 remaining on the clock.

Palos Verdes reached the semifinals after defeating No. 5 Mission Viejo 12-4. The finals will be held Saturday at 11:45 a.m. at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center.