Early Injury Critical in Polo Playoff Loss

Emma Torres, Staff Writer

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While one of its star players sat on the sidelines nursing a broken nose, varsity boys’ water polo lost 12-10 to Sir Francis Drake in the North Coast Section Division 1 title game on November 11. Though the Cougars forced an overtime period, they ran out of gas against the Pirates, giving up 2 goals while failing to put the ball into their opponent’s net.

According to junior Giorgio Alessandria, the loss of Nick Schroeder was a challenge. Schroder suffered a broken nose after being “socked in the face” by an opponent in the opening minutes of the match.  He sat on the bench for the remainder of play.

Campolindo trailed much of the 1st half before pulling even, 5-5. After half time, the Cougars took the lead.  By the close of the 3rd quarter, the score was 9-7 in Campolindo’s favor. The final period ended with the teams knotted at 10-10.

The overtime format included 2 additional periods of 3 minutes each.

In spite of the loss, the Cougars felt good about their game plan. “Going into the game, our plan was to press the other team and make it very hard for them to move the ball around, and this worked pretty well so we stuck to it,” said junior Marcus Longton.

“[Us coaches] felt confident, but of course we were going to worry when [Drake was] ahead. They’ve been wanting a win,” said coach Brandon Williams.

“We felt really prepared going into the game, but they went up early on us, 4-1, so we got a little on our heels, ” said Alessandria.

Saturday’s game was not the 1st time the squad had been matched up against Sir Francis Drake; Campolindo defeated Drake in both the 2015 and 2016 NCS tournaments.

“We gotta tip our hat to the other team. They did a good job, put away their shots when they needed to and they executed,” added Longton.

The Cougars will go on to participate in the 2017 CIF NorCal Water Polo Championship Tournament, where a bracket of 8 teams will compete for an opportunity to play for the NorCal title on November 18. “It’s the closest thing we’ll get to a State, it’s just a NorCal State,” said Alessandria of the newly instituted NorCal tournament.

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