Boys’ water polo defeats Homestead High School 11-4

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Boys’ water polo defeats Homestead High School 11-4

Bret Pinsker ('13) passes to one of his teammates. Bret had 63 goals last season.

Bret Pinsker ('13) passes to one of his teammates. Bret had 63 goals last season.

Sammy Solomon

Bret Pinsker ('13) passes to one of his teammates. Bret had 63 goals last season.

Sammy Solomon

Sammy Solomon

Bret Pinsker ('13) passes to one of his teammates. Bret had 63 goals last season.

Nora Rosati, Audrey DeBruine, Editor-in-Chief, Staff Writer

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The Palo Alto High School varsity boys’ water polo team triumphed over Homestead High School 11-4 in its first league game of the season on Tuesday under the Paly pool deck lights.

The Vikings entered the pool on a dominant note, with captains Bret Pinsker (‘13) and Quinn Rockwell (‘13) scoring the first three goals of the game.  Rockwell’s assist on a counter-attack in the first 30 seconds of the game enabled Pinsker to put the ball away instantly. For the second goal of the game, Pinsker made a clean attack toward the cage and landed the ball in the net.  Rockwell scored the last goal of the quarter, bringing the score to 3-0.

The Mustangs attempted a comeback at the start of the second quarter, but goalie Brent Schroder (‘13) blocked several shots. When the Vikings regained possession of the ball, Pinsker assisted Rockwell for the first goal of the second quarter.  Roughly a minute later, Andrew Cho (‘16) assisted Pinsker on another goal, bringing the score to 5-0.  The Vikings closed out the quarter with a six-goal lead over the Mustangs thanks to a quick-passing playing style.  Seth Alston (‘15) passed to Cho, whose assist gave Rockwell the chance to put away another goal.

Paly continued to gain momentum through the start of the third quarter.  Sam Kelley (‘14) assisted Pinsker in scoring his fourth goal of the game.  Cho followed suit, breaking away from the Mustang defenders and speeding down the length of the pool to score a goal with two minutes left in the quarter, bringing the score to 9-0.

Cho’s goal marked the end of the hot streak for the Vikings, as the Mustangs started to rack up a few goals.  Homestead’s Jason Russum (‘14) scored the first goal for the Mustangs on a 5-meter penalty shot.  Russum finished off the third quarter with another goal to bring the score to 10-2.

Quinn Rockwell ('13) passes to Nolan Perla-Ward ('13). Rockwell scored a total of four goals.

Paly’s defense slipped once more, allowing Homestead to gain another goal.  However, the Vikings responded with an assist from Cho to Rockwell, whose backhand shot made the score 11-3.

The Mustangs took the final goal of the game with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, bringing the final score to 11-4.

The Vikings were pleased with their overall performance, but identified areas of improvement.

“I think we played really well, especially on the defensive end,” coach Matt Johnson said.  “We need to finish the game strong no matter what, so we’ll be working on that.”

Captains Pinsker and Rockwell agreed that the first game revealed weaknesses in the team’s cohesiveness.

“We need to gel more,” Pinsker said.  “It’s our first game and we don’t really play with each other too well yet.”

Rockwell echoed Pinsker’s thoughts.

“We need to work on our team chemistry, [because] right now we’re not really together,” Rockwell said. “I think more playing time will get us there.”

The Vikings will play next this Thursday, Sept. 13 at home against Los Gatos High School.

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