Strong play by Mira Costa goalkeeper Katy Heatherton has helped the Mustangs reach the semifinals for the first time since 2006. Photo by Ray Vidal
Mira Costa is headed toward un-chartered waters and Jon Reichardt couldn’t be happier.
After leading the Mustang’s boys water polo team to a CIF title in the fall, Reichardt has his girls water polo team in the semifinals for the first time since 2006 and in good shape to make its first appearance in a championship match.
Second-seeded Mira Costa (22-7) eliminated No. 9 St. Lucy’s Saturday with an impressive 10-4 victory, propelling the Mustangs to the CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinals where they will face No. 6 Upland (19-4) Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.
Upland, which finished second to top-seeded Los Osos in the Baseline League, upset No. 3 Harvard-Westlake 12-7 in its quarterfinal contest. The Mira Costa-Upland victor will play the winner between No. 1 Los Osos (22-9) and No. 5 Arroyo Grande (22-8) in the championship game on Saturday at the same venue.
Los Osos defeated Bay League runner-up Palos Verdes 18-10 on Saturday.
“Everyone’s playing real well right now and we have a good shot a bringing home a title,” Reichardt said. “But we’re focusing on one game at a time and not looking ahead.”
Reichardt said he felt St. Lucy’s would focus on Jordan Raney, who was coming off an eight-goal performance in the Mustang’s opening-round win, and was proud of how her teammates stepped up.
Kaylee Brownsberger, Kelly Giery, Chloe Le and Isabella Magno each scored two goals and Raney and Cami Ruiz found the net once.
Mira Costa swam out to a 5-3 lead at halftime and scored three unanswered goals in the third period to pull away.
The Mustang defense held the Regents in check and Mira Costa goalkeeper Katy Heatherton turned in another stellar performance. The senior recorded 11 saves including a critical save on a 5-meter penalty shot in the second quarter.
Heatherton made 14 saves in Mira Costa’s 13-3 win against Etiwanda in the first round.