Boys’ water polo ends season with fifth place finish in League Tournament

November 12, 2014 — by David Fan and Andrew Jiang

The boys’ water polo team finished the season with a record of 1-11, placing sixth in the SCVAL League De Anza Division.

The boys’ water polo team finished the season with a record of 1-11, placing sixth in the SCVAL League De Anza Division. The team placed fifth in the League Tournament on Nov. 6-8, and will not move on to CCS.

The team started the League Tournament with a 15-8 loss to Mountain View. Although the Falcons were trailing throughout the whole game, they were only down by four goals after the third quarter. But the Spartans shut out the team in the fourth, while scoring three goals.

“I was really impressed by the effort we put in, and we actually did pretty well against the third best team in our league,” sophomore Armin Agha-Ebrahim said. “I also scored my first goal of the season in that goal, which I was really stoked about.”

The next day, the team had a chance for revenge against Homestead, who beat them 7-6 in a close game on Oct. 28. Similar to that game, the Falcons were leading after the third quarter, but lost their lead in the fourth quarter, losing 7-5.

After the disappointing loss to Homestead, the team returned the next day looking to beat Los Altos, who they lost to twice this season, for fifth place in the tournament.

The Falcons started off slow, trailing by three points after two quarters. However, the Falcons shut down the Eagles’ offense in the third quarter, took the lead and never looked back, winning 11-8.

“[This game] was the perfect game to play our best water polo of the entire season,” senior Alex Whitman said. “We came out with intensity, fought the whole game and got a victory in my last water polo game ever.”

The Falcons lost 12-7 to Monta Vista in their last league game on Oct. 30. Knowing that they would finish fifth place in the league with a win, the team came out with intensity. But the Matadors ended the first half with a 6-2 lead and extended their lead to five goals in the third quarter.

During the fourth quarter, senior Brian Lew provided a spark off the bench with two quick goals, igniting a late-game run. But the run came too late, and the Matadors came out with the victory.

“Since it was senior night, I wanted to end my high school season on a high note,” Lew said. “Because I had missed half the season with an injury, I was ready to prove to my team I still had what it takes to score. Even though I scored twice, it sucked that we lost our last home game.”

The team suffered a disappointing 7-6 loss to the league-worst Homestead Mustangs on Oct. 28. The two teams ended the season with the same record, but the Falcons finished as the higher seed because of a higher goal differential.

The game was close throughout, with the Falcons ending the third quarter with a two goal lead. But the Mustangs started the fourth quarter with three quick goals, and the Falcons never came back. Junior Noah Quanrud led the team with three goals.

“Going into the game, we assumed we would win, so we became too relaxed with our two goal lead heading into the fourth quarter,” Quanrud said. “Although I scored multiple goals, I would rather take a win, especially for such a close game, over that anyday.”

Additionally, the Falcons competed against teams all across the Bay Area in a tournament at Carmel High School from Oct. 25-26. They won their first game, but lost the remaining two.

The action started with a 11-10 win in overtime against Pioneer High School. Trailing by five goals at one point during the second quarter, the Falcons started to communicate effectively on defense and draw ejections on offense in the second half.

The fourth quarter ended with the two teams tied at 10-10, and the game went to sudden death. After two possessions without a score, junior Graham Schmelzer rose up for a shot from 6 meters out. The ball hit the right post, and then off the opposing goalie’s head into the goal, giving the Falcons the victory.

The next day, the team, still in high spirits from the close win the previous day, played Willow Glen High School. This time, the Falcons did not play with enough heart from the start, never catching up to the Rams after losing their 4-3 lead in the second quarter, and lost 9-7.

The team returned later that day hoping to win their final match against St. Ignatius College Preparatory. But they were outmatched by the Wildcats’ size and speed, trailing 8-0 by the end of the first quarter. Although the Falcons only gave up five more goals for the rest of the game, they lost 13-5.