Paly Boys Water Polo Team Defeats Los Gatos on Senior Night

Sophie Kadifa and Hana Erickson

The bleachers were silent, waiting for Ryan Stanley (‘20) to shoot a penalty shot with three minutes left in the 4th quarter of his own senior night water polo game. Teammates, spectators, and coaches all held their breath as the referee signaled for Stanley to shoot. Stanley’s shot hit the top crossbar and then went right behind the goalie’s head, into the cage. 

The Paly boys water polo team faced off against Los Gatos for their last league game of the season and came away with a win in a thrilling game. 

Dexter Gormley (‘20) started off the game strong for the Vikings by winning the swim off. Gormley continued the momentum with a goal on a drive in the first few minutes of the game. Throughout the first quarter, Spencer Soohoo (‘21) helped out the team with his strong blocks. The first quarter ended with the Vikings in the lead, 2-0. 

Although there were a couple of missed shots throughout the second quarter, the boys held their ground during the first half of the game. Ryan Stanley (‘20) contributed on the offensive side with a 6v5 low corner goal at the end of the half. The vikings kept their lead, finishing the first half of the game with a score of 3-2. 

The game started to escalate during the second quarter. The game turned into anyone’s win with a strong effort from Los Gatos. The Wildcats were able to turn the game around during the 3rd quarter and won the quarter 5-4. 

“It was a back and forth game,” Stanley said. 

Paly was ready to bring it back in the fourth quarter for their seniors and came out aggressively.

“I think it being senior night hyped us up for the game because we wanted to end the season with a win for our seniors,” Jonny Pei (‘21).  

With about three minutes left in the game, the Vikings were down by one goal and possessed new energy to dominate. Gormley scored with a cross cage shot from eight meters. An incredible block from Soohoo allowed the Vikings to counter and Gormey to draw a five meter. Stanley took the winning penalty shot and secured the victory for Paly.