Boys’ water polo recovers from shaky ending to top Pasadena

By Nick Michael

Staff Writer

Photos by Stephanie Kim

The varsity boys’ water polo team defeated the Pasadena High School Bulldogs at home on Thursday, September 24, in an relatively even game that ended with a final score of 11-8.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead, scoring the game’s first goal about one minute into the match, but the Tigers quickly retaliated with a goal of their own. Both teams played well defensively early on, with no goals coming from either side over a three-minute stretch. Junior Spencer Gurley broke the scoring drought late in the first quarter, and junior Leo Sonner followed suit soon after. By the end of the first quarter, the Tigers held a 3-1 lead.

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In the second quarter, the Tigers’ strong defense led to some offensive chances. Thirty seconds in, Sonner stripped the ball off of a Bulldog player, charged down the pool, and fired a shot past the Pasadena goalkeeper. Right after that, junior Vaughn Huelsman intercepted a Bulldog pass and proceeded to score, extending the Tiger lead to 5-1. For the rest of the quarter, both teams played solid defense, but South Pasadena was able to score two more goals. By halftime, the Tigers led 7-2.

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The Bulldogs gained some ground on the Tigers in the third quarter, scoring three goals. If not for a few great saves from junior Matthew Wright, the South Pasadena lead might have been significantly diminished. The Tigers soon got back in control, with Huelsman and Sonner both scoring to kick off the fourth quarter. But the Bulldogs yet again clawed their way back into the game, scoring three straight goals. With two minutes left, South Pasadena was holding onto a slim 11-8 lead. However, the Tiger defense shut down the Pasadena offense in the final minutes, and the game ended with that final score.

This victory adds to the impressive season the boys have put together, as their record now stands at 8-3. Their next and final non-league game will be on Thursday, October 1, away against El Rancho High School.