Baseball has been called “a game of inches.” The boys on Mira Costa’s water polo team feel their sport can hold the same description.
Numerous shots taken by the Mustangs went off the pipes, narrowly missing the net for goals they desperately needed in a 7-6 loss to M.L. King in the CIF Southern Section/Ford Division 3 semifinals.
Mira Costa never led in the game but goalkeeper Ian Zaun made six saves and had three steals behind a strong defense to keep Mira Costa in striking distance.
The Mustangs trailed 3-2 after one quarter, 4-3 at halftime and 7-5 entering the fourth quarter. Mitch Trainoff’s goal with just over five minutes left in regulation pulled Mira Costa to within one but that was all the Mustangs could muster.
Trainoff finished the game with two goals and five steals and Jimmy Bissell scored twice with two steals to lead the second-seeded Mustangs who finished the season with a 19-10 record.
The game was a rubber-match between the two teams. Mira Costa lost to King 8-7 in the Coronado Tournament in Sept. but defeated the Wolves 8-5 in the Villa Park Tournament in late October.
Third-seeded King (25-8) advances to play top-seeded La Canada (22-8) in the finals Saturday at 11:45 a.m. at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.
La Canada defeated fourth-seeded and Bay League runner-up Palos Verdes (25-6) 11-8 in the other semifinal contest.
For Bay League champion Mira Costa, the future looks bright with 11 underclassmen on its roster, many who played vital roles in the success of this year’s squad.