Two Sunset League games into the schedule, the Newport Harbor High boys' water polo team has faced two tough tests.
In the end, though, the Sailors just had too much Luca Cupido on Wednesday night against Edison.
Cupido continued to shine. The senior transfer from Italy scored seven goals in the Sailors' 14-9 victory at their home pool, which kept them undefeated in league.
Edison Coach Diggy Riley said after the game that his team was trying to limit Cupido to five goals, but it didn't happen. The result was another close league victory for the Sailors (17-4, 2-0 in league), ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 1. Newport Harbor edged Los Alamitos, 12-11, in its league opener last week.
"I mean, he's scored five against everybody anyway," Riley said of Cupido. "I thought we defended him pretty well most of the game, but that's not good enough, obviously."
Cupido also had a pretty assist to sophomore Ben Morrison, finding him on a cross pass with 4:39 left in the game to give the Sailors a three-goal lead.
"When they overshadow him, they fall asleep somewhere else," Newport Harbor Coach Robert Lynn said.
Cupido increased the lead to four just a minute later from center, beating a double team and scoring with his left hand.
Edison (16-4, 0-2 in league), ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, was coming off an upset victory over Santa Margarita on Tuesday. Senior center Justin Harrison led the Chargers on Wednesday night with four goals.
"We kept having to play catch-up, but I'm proud of our guys," said Riley, whose team was down, 4-1, late in the first quarter. "We beat Santa Margarita [Tuesday], the No. 3 team in the county, 14-8. We played phenomenal. I would have liked to have had another day to prepare for Newport, but we didn't have it. [We played] No. 2 and No. 3 in the county back-to-back ... but they're good. Luca's good."
Morrison scored twice for the Sailors, as did junior Clay Davison. Jack Mooers, Mitchell Mendoza and Chad Sheldon scored Newport Harbor's other goals.
The Sailors held Edison senior Ryan Warde scoreless. Warde transferred from Newport Harbor to Edison last summer. In Wednesday night's game, he was guarded by his friend Mendoza, who stole a pass to Warde on six-on-five and also field blocked one of his shots.
Warde became eligible to play at Edison on Oct. 7.
"He's still got a lot of really good friends over there, and you saw it after with guys giving him hugs," said Riley, a Newport Harbor alumnus. "He had a job to do today, and that job was to help the team win. That was the most important thing to him, and it just happened to be a team that he left. I thought he played really well. He didn't score any goals, but he created some opportunities. He's still trying to find the rhythm."
Sophomore goalie Joe Ferraro made three saves for the Sailors, still without the services of senior Massimo Navarretta.
"We're just resting him," Lynn said. "He's not injured, it's just tight. His hip flexors and groin have tightened up. This is giving Joe good experience, too, so he has to be ready in case Massimo can't go."
Navarretta will have a good amount of time to heal up. Newport Harbor has no games until its next Sunset League tilt, Oct. 23 against Fountain Valley.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun