Men’s Water Polo drops its first game of the season to powerhouse Golden West

The Monarchs took on Golden West in a grudge match of last weeks’ showdown at Golden West and fell just one goal short of tying the game.

By Vicente Vitela, Sports Editor

Late drama in the Valley College Vs Golden West Rustlers game left the Monarchs with a 12-11 loss after a missed opportunity gave the team their first loss of the 2018 season.

At the sound of the whistle, the fans expected a water polo match, but ended up witnessing a chess match. The Rustlers would draw first blood within a minute into the match, and by the end of the first period, Golden West happily took a 3-1 lead heading into the second period. The lone goal for the Monarchs didn’t come until the four minute mark by Davo Araklyan. Golden west clearly came into the match with a plan and executed it early on, and forced the Monarchs to adjust their strategy.

“Our man up situation wasn’t good, and it cost us the game,” said Head Coach Jim McMillan about the team’s defense.

The second period didn’t have as much scoring as the first; however it had a lot more fouls, and rough action as both teams jockeyed for an advantage. The second half ended with Golden West up 5-2, and the Monarchs failed to breakthrough the Rustlers defense, and tensions were high heading into the half.

“We fought hard and didn’t quit, and we kept fighting,” McMillian said.

As the second half began, the Monarchs scored three unanswered goals in less than two minutes. Araklyan scored two of those goals, boosting his total to four. The Rustlers, however, answered back with two goals of their own, ending the period with a 8-6 lead.  The end of the third finally saw the Monarchs execute their game plan but would it be too little too late for them to finish off the comeback.

As soon as the fourth period ended Golden West would jump on their first possession, and score a quick goal making it necessary for the Monarchs to score three goals in order to tie the game. The Monarchs would once again score three unanswered goals, tying the game with just four minutes to go. After both teams bullied in a few goals we would have ourselves an 11-11 tie with just one-minute remaining.

“We have to work on our shooting and our man up defense,” Said McMillan on what his strategy will be for his upcoming games.

Golden west would receive the ball with what might be their final possession of the game, and they did not let it go to waste as Manuel Augusto would score the go ahead goal with 47 seconds remaining. Valley would have an opportunity to tie it but a strong defense from the Rustlers would force a steal, and would eventually lead to the Monarchs downfall and a 12-11 loss in round 2 of the Valley Vs Golden West series.

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