Photo by Jesuit Communications
In yet another reversal of fortunes, the Jesuit High School water polo team upset No. 1 seeded Rio Americano High School in the section semifinal game on Wednesday, Nov. 13, marking another game in which Jesuit has beat a team that defeated them earlier in the season.
The game was hotly contested from start to finish as the momentum swung back and forth between the two teams.
Near the end of the match, the Marauders were able to secure a 2-point lead to which the Raiders quickly responded with a goal.
With under a minute to go, Rio was able to obtain possession once more and go on the offensive. Both teams held their breath as the Raiders looked to tie up the game, but they overshot the goal in their final attempt, returning possession to Jesuit.
In the closing seconds of the game, as Jesuit’s crowd and sideline began their celebrations, the Marauders ran down the clock to earn an 8-7 victory.
For player Ivan Soshnikov ’20, it was a combination of preparation and teamwork that made all the difference.
“We definitely prepared a lot better, but we also had people come back from injuries and lots of guys stepping up, especially our young guys like Keegan [Moore ’23] ,” Ivan said. “Everyone played their game and played like a team, especially on our defense which we’ve been working on all season.”
Player Cody Ferguson ’20 agreed with Ivan’s assessment of the game but also emphasized that energy was key to Jesuit’s success.
“We had a better game plan, and we came out with much better energy,” Cody said.
Now that the Marauders have defeated Rio, they will face off against the Granite Bay High School Grizzlies for the Sac-Joaquin Section Final. For Head Coach Zac Koerner, Jesuit just needs to keep playing its own game in order to win.
“We need to stick to what we have done well in all of our best games which is a commitment to team defense, communication, and controlling the tempo on offense,” Coach Koerner said.
The championship game against the Grizzlies will be at the Roseville Aquatics Center this Saturday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m.