Boys’ water polo fights to the end in last home game of the season

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Boys’ water polo fights to the end in last home game of the season

Joshua Modglin

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Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill

Foothill senior Colin Brown shoots, resulting in a late goal in the fourth quarter, Nov. 5, 2014. Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill Dragon Press

With a cloudless sky and the sun beating down on the pool deck of the Ventura Aquatics Center, Foothill played its last home water polo game of the season against Carpinteria High School on Wednesday. Foothill was defeated with a final score of 7-11.

In the first quarter of the game, junior Spencer Wittrock attempted to score in the first play, but Carpinteria’s goalie blocked the shot. Carpinteria scored the first goal of the game with five minutes, fifty-five seconds left in the seven minute quarter. In return, junior Mitchell Caldwell score Foothill’s first goal with less than four minutes remaining on the clock.

Two Carpinteria players were ejected from the game, which is when a player is taken out of the game for 20 seconds for playing too roughly. Carpinteria scored three more times before the long buzzer sounded, marking the end of the first quarter, which put Carpinteria ahead 1-4.

Within the three plays of the second quarter, Caldwell was ejected from the game for 20 seconds. Carpinteria did not score during the penalty, but scored later in the quarter, with three minutes, 16 seconds remaining.

In retaliation, sophomore Parker Harris scored Foothill’s second goal of the game, 17 seconds later. Carpinteria scored once more in the final thirty seconds of the quarter. With less than three seconds on the clock, senior James Florez scored, ending the quarter 3-6.

Foothill started off with a strong start in the third quarter. Freshman Andres Coppa scored the first goal of the quarter, with six minutes remaining. Two Carpinteria players were ejected from the game before Carpinteria scored its seventh goal of the game.

In the final quarter, Carpinteria scored three more times. Harris scored Foothill’s fifth goal of the game, with three minutes left. Carpinteria earned a five meter shot, which is when a shot is given to an offense player when a foul is committed inside the five meter line and the player had an opportunity to score. Carpinteria scored its tenth goal of the game from the five meter shot. Senior and field player Colin Brown scored a goal after the penalty shot. Carpinteria scored once more, and Foothill scored the last goal of the game, ending it with a final score of 7-11 in Carpinteria’s favor.

Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill senior and goalie Paul Byrne blocking an incoming water polo ball, Nov. 5, 2014. Credit: Austin Hunt/The Foothill Dragon Press

Despite the loss, coach David Wallace thought Foothill played its “best game of the year.”

“[Previously], we lost by more than 10 points. Today, we lost by four goals, which was much closer,” said Wallace. “We played much better defense.”

Sophomore Kevin Weachter also said that “Foothill played very well” during the game.

Senior James Florez said that Foothill improved since the beginning of the season, but the team still has further improvements that need to be made.

“I think we definitely  improved since the beginning of the season, which can be seen by the score difference between now and the first time we played Carpinteria,” said Florez. “This being said, there could still be more room for improvement. Maybe in a couple more games we would win finally but I’m pretty proud about how we played.”

Wallace  said that the team could improve on “shooting on the perimeter” for the next season.

“Shooting on the perimeter and team speed are our two biggest needs for next year,” said Wallace.

In the upcoming years, Wallace pictures Foothill will soon place third in the league.

“You always have to plan to compete for a playoff spot. Even this year, our goal was to get third place in the league,” said Wallace. “It didn’t happen for us, but next year, the guys will come up with their own goals for the team and I expect we will be third or better.”

 

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The varsity boys’ water polo team ended the season with a league record of zero wins and 10 losses.

However, the junior varsity (JV) team defeated Carpinteria in overtime, with a final score of 12-11.

The JV team has a final league record of six wins and four losses.

Foothill teacher Kurt Miller, who played water polo in middle and high school, attended both the varsity and junior varsity games because he wanted “to support the team” at their final game of the season.

“I think Foothill could really be an amazing team. I think there’s a lot of good cooperation,” said Miller. “We have the sparks to be good, so now it’s just working on refining skills. I’m no expert, but I think Foothill could do really well in the future.”

What do you think?