DV Men’s Water Polo struggles against league powerhouses

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DV Men’s Water Polo struggles against league powerhouses

Sneha Cheenath and Harshita Neralla

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Dougherty Valley Men’s Water Polo lost to the Foothill High School Falcons after a neck-to-neck game on Sept. 26.

Seconds after the first quarter began, Foothill scored the first goal, showing off their remarkable offense. The Wildcats’ defense failed to keep up with the speed of the Falcons’ offense as they kept hammering out goals. The first quarter ended 4-2, with the Falcons holding a narrow lead.

The Wildcats picked up their pace in the second quarter as senior Alexander Burr and sophomore Michael Gerges scored three consecutive goals. Their defense improved remarkably as the Falcons scored only one goal, bringing the overall score to 5-5 by the end of the first half. 

The second half intensified as both teams fought for the win. Falcons Daniel Kim and Sanjay Menon both carried the offense during the third quarter as the Wildcats’ defense began to falter. Dougherty scored two goals while Foothill scored four, bringing the overall score to 9-7 by the end of the third quarter. 

The final quarter fell into a similar pattern of strong offense from both teams, but where Dougherty’s defense faltered, Foothill’s defense picked up. The Falcons’ defense constantly closed in on the Wildcats throughout the quarter. Each team scored two additional goals, ending the game with an overall score of 12-9.

In their next game, they lost to Amador Valley High School with a final score of 20-10 on Oct. 10. 

The first quarter started with a goal from Amador, but DV soon recovered with a goal from sophomore Gerges. Much of the quarter was neck-in-neck, with Amador gaining a lead and DV quickly bringing the score back to a tie. But another shot from Gerges put them in the lead, and the quarter ended with a score of 6-5. 

In the second quarter, Amador was able to show off their defense more as they started to build their lead over Dougherty. Amador made five consecutive goals, one of them being a penalty shot to start the quarter. DV attempted a skillful shot, but the goalie was still able to block it. Before the end of the quarter, Amador scored several more times. Senior Abhigya Wangoo said that their lack of goals for much of the game was due to the stout defense. 

“With this goalie, it’s very difficult to get an opening, so it takes more time to analyze it well,” Wangoo said. 

Quarter three started favorably for the Wildcats; the goalie skillfully blocked two shots from Amador, and senior Noah Richard scored successfully. But Amador soon slammed the ball into the net, which changed the course of the game in their favor. They scored two more goals after. The quarter ended with Amador’s failed attempt to score a goal from across the pool. Amador had a hefty lead by the end of the quarter, with a score of 15-7. This lead was largely due to their ability to move very quickly across the field, passing long distances. Wangoo said that this type of offense is called a fast break. 

“A big part of avoiding fast breaks is situational awareness. It depends on how aware you are of the time left on the shot clock and how well you can get back on defense,” Wangoo said. 

In the fourth quarter, Amador started the game by once again showing off their passing skills. The goalie was able to obtain the ball, and threw it across the pool, at which point another player grabbed it and made the first goal of the quarter. But Dougherty soon redeemed themselves with three quick goals. The game ended with Amador making two more goals, making the final score 20-10. 

Men’s Water Polo will play their last home game of the season against California High School on Oct. 24.

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