Men's Water Polo Attempted Comeback Not Enough; Corsairs Lose 15-8
The teams were huddled up on their respective sides, getting ready for play while the refs were pacing back and forth, eager to get started. It was as if the silence was a prelude to the storm and when the storm hit, it hit hard. With a cry like thunder, the Santa Monica College men's water polo team roared, "SMC ON THREE, ONE! TWO! THREE! S! M! C!" and dove into the pool to take their positions against Los Angeles Valley College.
The opening strike by LAVC was as quick as lightning. Upon possession of the ball, they immediately rushed the SMC goal and managed to incur a penalty shot, putting the first of many points on the board. Immediately after, they managed to net a quick steal and put another shot in, bringing the score 2-0, LAVC lead.
After gaining a two-point lead in two minutes, most teams would back off a bit, playing cautiously and attempt to hold onto that lead. Luckily for the Corsairs, LAVC continued to attack, trying to put more points on the board. In their recklessness, they made an error that the Corsairs managed to capitalize on, counterattacking and scoring a point, bringing the score up to 2-1. Unfortunately, LAVC was undeterred and kept attacking. SMC goalie, Stefan, stepped up to the challenge, swatting away shot after shot. However, even the strongest tree will fall in a storm, and Stefan slipped, letting in two more goals.
An interception and a blocked shot gave the Corsairs an opportunity to counterattack, but a series of lackluster offensive sets netted them no points. This sequence was followed by several questionable calls by the referees, allowing LAVC to score several more times. Luckily, the Corsairs managed to get a penalty shot and scored, bringing to total to 7-2, their lead, at the end of the first quarter.
The opening of the second quarter was just as bad as the first. LAVC quickly gained possession and made a series of attacks at the SMC goal. Struggling defensively, the Corsairs gave up three goals in three minutes. Following that, the Corsairs attempted to attack with weak pokes rather than strong drives. With a cry of "HAMBURGLER!" Dayne Contarsy attempted to rally the team in an effort to put some more points on the board. Unfortunately, the opposing team stifled the offensive attempt and mounted a counterattack, scoring once more.
With the opposing goalie sending passes deep into our territory, it was difficult for the Corsairs to attempt an interception and LAVC took full advantage, mounting attack after attack with no real fear of retaliation. Defending the goal became the main priority, but several more questionable calls took their toll on the team's morale and the score reflected that. Nevertheless, SMC persevered, counterattacking after a block to score with one second to spare at the end of the first half.
The second half went much better than the first. Neither side was able to score for much of the third quarter, with the Corsairs trying to catch up and LAVC trying to widen their considerable lead. In the last four minutes, the opposing team decided to field their entire bench, replacing their entire lineup and SMC was quick to capitalize. Dayne Contarsy led the offense, capitalizing on the benchwarmers' lack of experience and quickly scored twice bringing the score to 14 - 6, LAVC lead.
After realizing that the benchwarmers didn't have the offensive prowess as the starting lineup, the Corsairs adopted a risky strategy, having only five defenders with their sixth player, Dayne Contarsy, waiting deep in enemy territory for a chance to attack the goal quickly. However, a highly debatable call by one of the referees near the end of the game sealed the fate of the Corsairs. LAVC managed to score once more, bringing their total to 15. The Corsairs fought to the bitter end, scoring twice more for a total of eight points. The final score was 15 - 8, another loss for the Corsairs.
After the game, Dayne Contarsy, the leading scorer for the Corsairs in this particular game said, "We're good enough to beat their B-team, now we just need to beat their A-team." Playing against the "A" team, the Corsairs scored six times while giving up 14 goals, but against the "B" team, they managed to score two times, giving up only one goal in four minutes. Perhaps the Corsairs will keep that goal in mind as they play more games throughout the season.