Boys Junior Varsity Water Polo wins League
Junior varsity boys water polo remains undefeated in the Hacienda League tournament after defeating Los Altos and Charter Oak 9-2 and 8-6, respectively, Saturday, Oct. 26 at Los Altos.
In the first quarter against Los Altos, driver junior Kyle Tseng scored the first two goals after driving through the middle and lobbing over the goalie from the five-meter line. Later, set freshman Samuel Au scored the third goal after a counterattack on Los Altos In the second quarter, goalkeeper freshman Ivan Gonzalez blocked six shots by Los Altos and successfully made three steals, only allowing the Conquerors to score two goals. Walnut recovered with Tseng and Au scoring its last two goals, finishing the first half 5-2.
“When I made the first two goals, I was pretty excited that all my waterpolo practices at my club from the beginning of the season had started to pay off,” Tseng said. “At the beginning of the game, I knew that I had to play my best since this was the last game of the season, and I wanted to make an impact on the lives of the younger players by showing them what good sportsmanship is and going all out.”
During the second half, utility junior Carson Quesada added to the Walnut’s score by driving in the center at the start of the third quarter and successfully shooting the ball into the top right corner. With less than a minute remaining in the quarter, sprinter freshman Trevor Chuang scored the last goal of the quarter after stealing the ball and shooting it cross cage, finishing out the third quarter 7-2. In the fourth quarter, driver freshman Caleb Le added to Walnut’s score after the Conquerors received a rejection granting the Mustangs a six on five player advantage. In the final minutes of the game, Au shot the ball from the middle, ending the game 9-2.
“When I first made the shot, I was pretty proud of myself because I had to steal the ball from the other player that was swimming in and later swam with the ball all the way to the other goal,” Chuang said. “I never thought that I would have been able to score that shot because my defender was right behind me.”
In the second game against Charter Oak, Tseng gained an early two-point lead for the Mustangs. Au was added another point for the Mustangs after a steal and pass from driver freshman Jack Rodriguez to end the first quarter 3-0. At the start of the second quarter, the Chargers scored two goals. However, the Mustangs responded with Tseng assisted Le in scoring the fourth point after a drive. Gonzalez blocked five shots by the Chargers and made an assist to Tseng at the last minute to finish out the first half 6-2.
“Whenever I’m in the cage I always get really nervous because I never know when the ball is coming towards me, and I don’t want to let my team down by letting the other team score on us,” Gonzalez said. “As a goalie, I always try my best to block the shots but sometimes I can not block it fast enough. Whenever this happens my team does not get mad at me but instead is supportive of me.”
At the start of the second half, the Chargers were able to score a goal after a foul and shoot. Au scored a push in goal after a missed shot. Gonzalez allowed two more goals from the Chargers, ending the third quarter, 6-5. In the fourth quarter, Le scored the seventh goal of the game after the Chargers received a kick out after swimming over a player from Walnut. Au scored the final goal for the Mustangs from a five-meter penalty shot.With 30 seconds on the clock, the Chargers scored their final goal, concluding the game 8-6.
“At the end of the game, we won but winning is not that important. What is important is learning from our mistakes and being able to improve,” set guard sophomore Joshua Perez said. “ My favorite part of the season was to be able to meet new people and bond with them while we play waterpolo.”
By Samuel Au, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Judy Le