Boys Water Polo Takes Down Mountain View in a Thriller

The boys water polo won a fast and physical game against Mountain View today, October 15, 8-7.

The teams started off the quick tempo in the first quarter. Los Altos appeared to stop the Spartans on their first possession, but with the shot clock winding down, they stole the ball from sophomore goalie Connor Brett and buried the ball in the cage to take a 1-0 lead. The Eagles were held scoreless on their first trip down the pool, but a quick steal on the Mountain View drive led to a counterattack goal by senior captain Jim Hollingworth to tie the game at 1-1 with 5:49 remaining.

Play fell into a pattern, with the Spartans setting up on offense and the Eagles quickly countering. The Los Altos defense absorbed the Mountain View attack, giving Connor easy stops. On the other end, Jim scored another counterattack goal to give the Eagles their first lead at 2-1 with 2:33 remaining. He came close on the Eagles’ next counter, but his shot hit the goalie, then the bar and bounced out. The back-and-forth action continued the rest of the quarter, but neither team was able to score, and the period ended with the Eagles up 2-1.

Los Altos kept up the pressure in the second quarter. Stopping Mountain View on its first possession, the Eagles found Jim on another counter, who converted to make it 3-1. After that, the Spartans started to take control. Following an Eagle ejection, they took one back to make it 3-2 with 4:40 left. Then, they added on two more on consecutive possessions to take a 3-4 lead with 3:03 remaining in the half. Junior Nick Rodriguez tied it back up a minute later, but Mountain View scored on the following possession, and took a 4-5 lead into halftime.

Both teams were defensive in the third quarter. Sophomore Eric Warmoth scored on a counterattack to tie the game at 5-5 with 4:20 left, but the Spartans retook the lead with less than half a minute remaining, and the Eagles entered the final quarter trailing by one, 5-6.

During the break, the timer’s table had an issue with the clock. The subsequent delay took upwards of fifteen minutes, but eventually the game was able to restart.

Both teams came out of the extended break energized, and the fourth quarter was an open, fast-paced affair. Los Altos tied the game up on Jim’s fourth goal of the game to make it 6-6, and a minute later, sophomore Kyle Sandell drew a five-meter shot, which Jim converted to give the Eagles a 7-6 lead. The Spartans drew even on a man advantage to make it 7-7 with 3:51 remaining and could have done more, but Connor made several saves to keep the team in it.

With a minute and a half remaining, Los Altos drew an ejection to take a man advantage. Twenty seconds into the possession, the Eagles drew another five-meter shot. Jim stepped up and calmly converted for his sixth goal to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead. The Los Altos defense stopped the Spartans’ final attacks and ran out the clock to seal the victory.

Head coach Seth Tasman was happy with the way the team was able to grind out a win.

“It was a very intense game, it was back-and-forth the whole time,” Tasman said. “Mountain View was a much-improved team from the first time that we played them, so I was really happy that our boys battled and fought for all four quarters of the game.”

The win was big for the Eagles, who came into the game on a three-game losing streak.

“We had some really tough games,” Nick said. “The losing streak really brought us down, but now that we’ve stopped it we can really get back on top.”

The Eagles next play tomorrow and Saturday, October 15 and 16, in the Jesuit Capital Classic in Sacramento. Their next home game is Tuesday, October 20 against Gunn.