Corona Del Mar (CA) Taking Perfect Record in Stride

By Brett Manney

In every organization there is a motivated leader who is only as successful as his co-workers. The same theory applies to the Corona Del Mar lacrosse program.

Lead by head coach Mark Todd, the Sea Kings are riding the wave of success this season behind their talented coaching staff. The biggest game for the Sea Kings, coincidentally, is their last one of the regular season against St. Ignatius on May 2. Todd will rely on what has helped the team succeed so far--his coaching staff. Assistant coaches G.W. Mix, Mike Ortlieb, Matt Bond, and Sunil Parekh have been instrumental in the squad's success.

"They make me a better coach," Todd said. "I am very grateful for my assistant coaches."

The Sea Kings are extremely fortunate to have great experience on the sidelines, from Todd (who played at Towson) to Mix (a former NCAA coach of the year and former GM of the Los Angeles Riptide). The experienced and talented staff has helped the Sea Kings thrive this year. With an impressive 17-0 record, the Sea Kings have a daunting task ahead of them this weekend against St. Ignatius Prep, LaxPower's top-ranked team in California.

The Sea Kings finished 12-7 in 2007, 16-4 last year and this season do not have a single blemish on their slate. The Sea Kings are one of two teams in the state still unbeaten along with Loyola-Los Angeles. Todd applauded the play of his defensive players, who are first-year starters and members of the football team as well.

"I knew we were good," Todd said, "I just didn't know how good."

A difficult out-of-conference schedule featured Foothill-Santa Ana and Palos Verdes, which resulted in two wins. Todd acknowledged the team has risen to occasion and his coaching staff does a great job of preparing the team. For example, the Sea Kings have scored fewer than 10 goals only twice all season, and have scored more than 20 goals four times.

Todd and his staff are pleased with the effort and mentality of the squad.

"We are really emphasizing for the kids to keep their heads down, and they are," Todd said. "We want the guys to focus on each single game and they are doing that."

The success of the Sea Kings had been largely in part to the leadership of their four captains, in addition to the coaching staff. Captains David Kidushim, Noah Molnar, Andrew Noto, and Ryan Mix have been excellent, according to Todd. All of the captains are seniors except for Mix, a junior attackman who has committed to Notre Dame. Kidushim scored the game-winning goal against Palos Verde, while Molnar has anchored the Sea Kings all year from the midfield and will play next year at Lehigh. In addition, Noto is a stone wall between the pipes and recently was named one of LaxPower's West region players of the week.

People are already calling the game against the Wildcats as the California state championship, as the Wildcats represent Northern California while the Sea Kings are from Southern California. Even though it is not the state championship, the game is played on championship-caliber field at Peninsula Park in Newport Beach, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The field was rented for this specific game. The Sea Kings usually play their games on campus, but the magnitude of this contest called for a special venue.

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