Varsity Water Polo makes a splash against rivals


Nathan Zelizer, Staff Writer

The Varsity Water Polo team lost to Trinity in a double shootout last Friday, after tying at 7-7. The game was a nail-biter, culminating with the two teams remaining tied after two three-minute overtime periods. A tie leads to a shootout where both teams have five free throws against only the goalie. After two of these shootouts, Trinity was able to clutch the win.

The game was Water Polos first of the season, with some kinks that needed to be ironed out.

“We definitely need to be working on communication and our level of endurance,” Walker McCarthy (10) said. These qualities can be easily improved upon through practice. he said.

One of the team’s biggest problems was that Trinity had a pool that was deep on one side and shallow on the other. This troubled the team as Horace Mann’s pool is all deep. In a shallow pool, there are certain spots where you cannot make certain plays which really affected the pacing of the game. “It changed where and how we use the pool for leverage which threw us of a little,” Donny Howard (12) said. The Water Polo team hopes that in the future they won’t have to play in pools like this again.

One standout player was Howard. He plays goalie and truly had an amazing performance which kept the lions in the game for so long.

“Donny played great, he was making saves no one expected him to be making,” McCarthy said. Howard not only leads the team with his skill, but he is truly a leader in the team and sets a great example for the younger kids on the team.

While Howard was making great saves in goal, Ari Salsberg (11) was racking up points for the Lions. Salsberg scored six out of the seven goals.

“Ari has a great ability to finish which is great for the team,” Head Coach Michael Duffy said. Many people on the team have high hopes for Salsberg and believe that his performance will be this good every game, he said.

The game looked especially grim for the Lions near the end of the second overtime as they were down 5-7. In a final move to score, Howard came out of the goal to try to take a shot. Unfortunately, this failed but the Lions recovered the ball and gave it to Salsberg in the middle of the pool. He was able to score which gave the team the momentum to quickly pull one more goal out of the bag in the last minute of the game. This great turn of events put the Lions in the shootout.

The shootout was a tight match as both teams struggled to score. “We forgot about our fundamentals and went for speed and power instead of accuracy,” McCarthy said. The Lions were able to tie with Trinity in the first shootout. The second round turned out worse as Horace Mann lost to Trinity.

The team learned a lot about what they need to work on before next week. The team was upset about the loss but also energized to realize their potential. Coach Duffy and all of the team members plan on practicing hard throughout the season to improve and win games down the line, he said.