By Nick Michael
Assoc. News Editor
Photos by Stephanie Kim
The varsity boys’ water polo team extended its league-play winning streak to four games on Thursday, October 22, away against the Temple City Rams. The two sides were highly competitive throughout the game, but in the end the Tigers came out on top, 18-12.
Coming into the game, South Pasadena faced a slight disadvantage. The Temple City pool has a shallow end, which is only three feet deep. While the Rams players were accustomed to this peculiarity, the Tigers had to adjust to it during the game.
The game was close straight from the start. Junior Spencer Gurley kicked off the scoring, but the Rams fired backed to level the score. The Tigers were in heavy foul trouble during the first quarter, and Temple City surged ahead after a South Pasadena foul led to a 5-meter shot. However, by the end of the first period the Tigers had regained the lead, and were ahead 4-3.
South Pasadena’s offense broke out in the second quarter, with Gurley scoring four more goals. The Tigers also used their strong defense to create scoring opportunities. Junior Leo Sonner came up with multiple steals, which led to productive counter-attacks. At halftime, South Pasadena held a 10-5 lead.
Temple City began to take control of the game in the third quarter. The Rams goalkeeper contributed many impressive saves, stymying the Tiger offense. Offensively, the Temple City offense produced three well-worked goals. At the start of the final quarter, the Tigers held a 12-8 lead, but it would soon be extended. Gurley continued to torment the Rams defenders, scoring three more goals in the fourth quarter, and finishing with eight on the game. In the final minutes, Temple City pulled its goalkeeper out of the net, and Tiger goalkeeper Matthew Wright took advantage of this by scoring a rare goal for himself. Junior Kinan Rodriguez scored the final goal of the game by literally swimming the ball into the net, a goal that solidified the Tigers’ 18-12 victory.
The team’s league record now stands at a perfect 4-0. The boys have yet to face San Marino, but they have beaten every other team in the Rio Hondo League. With each victory, the Tigers get closer and closer to their goal: a flawless 8-0 league record. The team’s next game is on Tuesday, October 27, away against Monrovia High School.