Boys Water Polo: Team faces tough defeat against Los Gatos High School

Sarah Ramos

Strong aggression and motivation from the opposing team leads to a 10-3 loss.

Junior Patrick Duffy looks to pass to one of his teammates. Duffy scored no goals this match, but contributed to both the offense and defense. Photo by Catherine Lockwood.

Junior Patrick Duffy looks to pass to one of his teammates. Duffy scored no goals this match, but contributed to both the offense and defense. Photo by Catherine Lockwood.

The boys water polo team faced off against Los Gatos High School on Oct. 15 at home. LGHS led the game by as many as eight points, and held onto the lead for the entire game. While the Matadors attempted to decrease the Wildcats’ lead, the closest MVHS ever came to matching their score was a five point margin in the second period.Currently, LGHS has a league record of 0-6 while the Matadors are 1-4 in league.

Early on in the game the Matadors struggled offensively, scoring no goals on LGHS. The Wildcats approached with aggression, evident in the first few plays of the match.
“They definitely came out way harder than us,” junior Anup Sankarraman said. “Los Gatos had a stronger desire to win and we really didn’t.”

MVHS had difficulty matching their opponents’ aggression, as its plays were slow and passes were hesitant. While the Wildcats attacked the MVHS goal in numerous fast breaks, the Matadors had little offensive movement during almost all plays. LGHS led 3-0 at the end of the first period.

MVHS made few offensive improvements during the second period, lacking drive and motivation. Although senior Jackson Ziegler made the Matadors’ first goal in the last seconds of the period, players had many more shots on goal. A fast offensive sequence in the second minute of the period set Ziegeler up for a solid shot that was deflected by the LGHS goalie. The Wildcats scored three more goals in this period, resulting in a 6-1 score at halftime.

LGHS went up 7-1 in the first couple minutes of the third period. Many of the Matadors were indecisive and hesitant on the offensive side, leading to many turnovers during the period. A strong shot by senior Colin Hong in the fifth minute had potential, but was deflected off a goalpost. MVHS’s momentum picked up with fast breaks and steals by Sankarraman. These promising plays, however, did not result in goals for the Matadors. LGHS led 8-1 going into the fourth period.

The Matadors were silent throughout most of the final period, but took action in the fourth minute. Junior Greg Moe scored MVHS’s second goal of the game with 3:40 remaining on the clock. The Wildcats’ aggressive defense persisted in the final minutes. Hong managed to score the last point of the game, leaving the Matadors trailing by seven points as the clock ran down.

“We didn’t warm up hard enough before the match and that hurt us,” Sankarraman said. “I think we also should have been more vocal, which is something we didn’t really do during practice and it showed during the game.”

The team looks to utilize practice time more efficiently and produce more goals.

“We’re going to work on our front court since it was stagnant this game,” Moe said. “Coming into this game, we weren’t mentally prepared since we expected an easy win against Los Gatos. We have to make sure we come in focused and ready to fight hard for four quarters.”

The Matadors’ next home game is Oct. 17 against Mountain View High School.