Offense struggles in 8-14 loss to Los Altos

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Offense struggles in 8-14 loss to Los Altos

Carissa Chan

Junior Brendan Duffy scores his first goal of the game. Despite strong performances by several players, the Matadors were unable to find a consistent rhythm in the game against Los Altos. Photo by Carissa Chan.

As MVHS head coach Ed Samuels faced the school he used to coach, the varsity boys water polo team lost 8-14 on Oct. 18, falling to Los Altos High School. The team’s offense had difficulty finding a scoring rhythm and were not able to take the lead throughout the entire game. Junior Brendan Duffy scored six goals while senior Cameron Yates and sophomore Colin Hong each had two.

The Matadors were unable to hold off Los Altos, largely recognized as the strongest team in the league, from the beginning as LAHS quickly found holes in the defense. The first goal of the game came when Los Altos lobbed the ball just out of reach of MVHS goalie junior Owen Hardee, and Los Altos senior Adam Warmoth followed with another.

Junior Brendan Duffy then put the Matadors on the board with his first of six goals with a shot to the right side of Los Altos goalie senior Afsheen Khosraviani. But Los Altos answered back with a goal within the last few minutes of the end of the first period, putting the Matadors down 1-3.

As the second period progressed, Los Altos began to find more and more openings in the Matadors’ defense. Los Altos senior Matthew Orton scored two goals minutes within each other, both from the left side where the MVHS defense appeared weakest. The Matadors tried to regroup but wound up allowing two more goals by Orton when he managed to push the ball past Hardee twice. The Matadors had several opportunities to score near the end of the period, but many of their shots missed high over the cage, and MVHS remained five goals behind 2-7.

Orton struck again as the third period began, scoring his fifth goal of the game. Later, MVHS and Orton traded goals after an exclusion on a Los Altos player. Duffy and Yates then contributed with a goal each, but Orton, one of the strongest players on the Los Altos team, kept his team comfortably ahead as he scored again to make the score 5-10.

Los Altos continued to add to their lead, maneuvering their way through the Matadors’ defense. MVHS couldn’t challenge Khosraviani with many shots while constantly missing high. By the end of the third period, the Matadors had fallen behind 5-11.

The Matadors continued to shoot high over the cage in the fourth period, largely eliminating potential scoring opportunities as Los Altos worked another three goals in to give themselves a seven-goal lead. Duffy sparked a small rally for the Matadors when he took the ball up and passed to Hong for an easy goal and then scored another himself, his fourth of the game, but the six-goal deficit proved to be too much for the Matadors, who lost by a final score of 8-14.

“We really wanted to win this game,” Hong said. “[Samuels] knows the players so he gave us good advice… but we found a rhythm too late.”

The Matadors’ next game will be at and against Gunn High School on Oct. 20 at 6:45 pm.