Written by Alex Betts
Photos by Thomas Forman
Following a disappointing loss to Flintridge Prep last week, boys’ water polo was unable to prevail at home against Burroughs High School on Tuesday, August 29, lowering their record to 0-2. In the hard-fought, 13-12 defeat, the tide of the game consistently alternated as the two high-powered offenses traded multiple goals and scoring opportunities. Both squads displayed quality playmaking abilities and individual highlights, providing passionate fans with four periods of entertaining action.
Burroughs was the first to break the ice, launching a well-placed shot to the top right of South Pas’ net from an open, far position. Preventing Burroughs from gaining momentum, senior Owen Carlson found junior Philip Lee after Lee’s defender was ejected for a foul. Left alone in front of the goal, Lee swiftly tied the game with a sharp, hard shot. Soon after, Lee carried his own momentum, striking for another goal despite the defensive efforts of two Burroughs opponents.
As the second period developed, Burroughs took advantage of lucky deflections and the Tigers’ defensive woes, extending their lead to 4-2. The Tigers persevered, however, as Lee responded with a rocket to the bottom left corner of the net and Carlson rifled a brilliant strike that skipped once on its way to the opposite corner. With the game tied at 4-4, the reigning Division V champions would not let the Tigers sustain momentum, taking advantage of a SPHS turnover on their way to their fourth lead of the half. In the final minutes, freshman Dominic Kline nearly eliminated the 5-4 deficit with a beautiful lob over the opposing goalie’s right shoulder, but the referees controversially ruled that the ball never crossed the goal line, sending the Tigers to halftime down by one goal.
Both offenses erupted in the third period, accounting for 11 goals over seven minutes of play. Rejuvenated players from both teams displayed incredible shot-making abilities and impressive precision. Although goals were traded, South Pas emerged as the dominant team throughout the third, hanging onto more possession and creating more scoring chances in transition. Freshman Anthony Felix catapulted two strikes from the right side of the pool, igniting the SPHS crowd, and freshman Eddie Lane-Flanigan played an instrumental role in creating opportunities for teammates and capitalizing on his own. With the game tied at eight, Lane-Flanigan lifted a beautiful pass to Lee, who rifled a goal into the bottom right area of the net. Lane-Flanigan also contributed two impressive goals as Kline and senior Alex Fonseca added to their stats with a goal apiece. When the horn sounded, the Tigers had grabbed an 11-9 lead.
Coming into the last quarter with confidence, the Tigers quickly added to their success with a spin-around strike by senior Jasper Lee. Unfortunately, South Pas’ dominance ended there, as a Burroughs player snuck behind South Pas defenders on a miscommunication and scored a quick goal. Moments later, an accurate shot to the top left corner beat freshman goalie Liam Markus, reducing the Tigers’ lead to just one goal. After a missed strike by the Tigers ricocheted off the post, a Burroughs player quickly grasped the ball and passed it up to a cherry-picking teammate, who ripped a shot to the top left corner of the net. With the game on the line, both teams called timeouts at critical moments to regroup. A time violation on Burroughs gave South Pas possession in a tense 12-12 game, but then, as the Tigers brought the ball up, the referees called a crucial, questionable foul which gave the ball back to Burroughs. On that possession, Burroughs took a hard shot from the left side that evaded Tigers’ defenders and ultimately gave Burroughs the win.
Boys’ water polo will play its next game at home against Herbert Hoover High School on Thursday, August 31.