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Wilcox Boys Water Polo Falls to Wildcats 9-8

Despite outscoring the Los Gatos Wildcats 3-2, 2-1 and 3-2 in the first, third and fourth quarters, the Wilcox Chargers fell one goal short on Tuesday afternoon. The second quarter that did them in? The Wildcats outscored the Chargers 4-0. So, what exactly went wrong in that second frame?

“Offensively we were rushing too much,” said Chargers Head Coach Lee McBride. “Our time of possession was a huge factor in that second quarter, we turned the ball over so many times that we didn’t have the time to set up our front court like we did in the other quarters. And that opened up their counterattack. If we lose the ball, they are coming back the other way 100 percent, usually, in an odd-man situation and they were able to put the ball away a couple times.”

“I think we got a bit overambitious and we had one or two players who weren’t playing 100 percent and that’s why we had those cracks,” admitted Chargers’ senior captain Ben Burkhardt who scored all three of the Chargers’ goals in the first quarter. “They usually scored in the final five to ten seconds, which is where our defense fell apart.”


When the Chargers defense did fall apart, senior goalkeeper Carlo Van Dijken was often there to come up with the big save. In the second quarter, after two quick goals on one-time tip plays right in front of the cage, Van Dijken stoned a third similar-type opportunity in close to keep the deficit at just two goals. Van Dijken also made an impressive stop going from post to post at the end of a penalty kill situation and making the save on the short side.

“He’s fantastic, I think he’s definitely the best goalie in our league and probably one of the best goalies I’ve ever seen or played with,” remarked Zach Edwards, whose goal in the third quarter pulled Wilcox back to within 7-5. “He holds our team together. I couldn’t ask for a better goalie.”

In the fourth quarter, the Chargers fell behind by three at 8-5 with an early goal allowed, but then they scored the next two goals. Luke Padden looked off the keeper by faking a pass and then skipped a hard low shot off the water just inside the near post to pull within 8-6. Shortly thereafter, sophomore William Xuan scored his second of the game to make it a one-goal difference at 8-7.

Unfortunately for Wilcox fans, their squad got a little overaggressive and back-to-back kickouts allowed the Wildcats to quickly restore their two-goal advantage at 9-7. Xuan would score his hat trick goal to pull back within 9-8, but with only 13 seconds remaining, Los Gatos was able to simply run the clock out.

The loss drops the Chargers league record to 5-4. They’ll hop in the pool for their next match on Thursday, Oct. 17 when they host Palo Alto at 3 p.m.


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