Boys’ water polo defeats Saratoga with a score of 12-8

The Palo Alto High Schools boys’ water polo team came out victorious against the Saratoga Falcons.

Alys Olmstead, Staff Writer

Paly boys’ water polo conquered Saratoga High School with a final score of 12-8. The team was led to victory by lead scorers Lucas Novak (‘15) and Winston Rosati (‘16).

The Vikings started the game strong with Rosati scoring in the first two minutes of the game.

“Rosati is always a standout performer in our games,” Kevin Bowers (‘16) said of his teammate. “That being said, I think we all as a team work very well together and are developing.”

The half continued with Rosati adding four more goals to Vikings scoreboard. Yet, Saratoga remained in the game with quick counter attacks against Paly’s defense.

The Saratoga Falcons’ efforts to pull ahead were unsuccessful, as Novak joined Rosati and scores four more goals for the Vikings. Although, the Vikings scored nine goals in the half, the Falcons closely followed and continued to compete scoring five goals.

“I think we kind of underestimated Saratoga,” Bowers said. “Judging by the score we got last time where we won by seven or six goals.”

At the start of the second half the score was 9-5, and Saratoga won the ball which gave them momentum, but strong defense by Bowers and Hans Usman (‘15) put the Vikings on offense leading to a shot that bounced off the post.

The Saratoga goalie came up with two saves, but the Falcons continued to feel the pressure from the Vikings on their defensive end.

Novak intercepted a pass and Paly’s quick counter attack led to a goal by Bowers, making the score 10-5 with 4:43 remaining in the quarter.

Saratoga nearly scored sequentially but the Vikings goalie, Luke Schroder (‘15), came in clutch with a save.

“Our biggest strength today was definitely defense,” Bowers said. “We’ve been working on that the past couple weeks and it payed off today.”

The Vikings continued to play aggressively which led to many calls against them, but they keep their lead as Saratoga was unable to execute their chances.

Both teams continued to hit the posts on their shots, and there was a stalemate in action as neither team could score. This changed when wih 2:49 left in the quarter the Falcons score their sixth goal of the night.

A double team by Novak and Ray Zhao (‘15) prevented another Saratoga goal and gave the Vikings an edge moving into their attacking third, but they are unable to keep the ball and gave Saratoga a breakaway.Luckily, they were quick to recover and keep the Falcons from scoring.

With a shot at the buzzer Saratoga is unable to score, and the ball is tipped over the goal by Schroder, ending the third quarter.

The fourth quarter commences with another block by Schroder and the Vikings attempt to gain their first half momentum back.

The Saratoga goalkeeper’s throw was blocked and intercepted by Andrew Jozefov (‘17) and then passed to Bowers for a quick shot and goal, making the score 11-6 with 4:46 remaining in the game.

Jozefov stole the ball and passed it to Rosati for a breakaway. Rosati shook off two Saratoga defenders and scored his sixth goal of the night.

The score continued to be in the Vikings favor as it is 12-6 with 3:12 remaining in the game.

As a last effort to stop the Vikings momentum the Falcons called a timeout with 2:37 left to play in the game.

Saratoga came in and scored their seventh goal of the evening with 1:43 remaining in the game, with a lobed ball over Schroder’s reach.

Saratoga put another one away with six seconds left, skidding it past the Vikings defense. Yet, despite diminishing the difference, the Vikings keep the victory.

The game ends with a score of 12-8 and the Vikings go in to their next game at home next Tuesday against Mountain View High School at 3:30 p.m.