Jesuit water polo defeats Granite Bay in Section Championship match

On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Jesuit High School Marauders defeated the Granite Bay High School Grizzlies in the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section Championship 12-6. 

The win marks Jesuit’s 11th Division I Sac-Joaquin Section Championship.

GBHS’ defeat was decisive with the Marauders maintaining the lead for nearly the whole game. The two teams were tied at 3 points after the first period, but Jesuit was leading again 8-5 by half time.

In the second half, GBHS cut their deficit to two goals, but Jesuit scored four consecutive times, pulling away with a victory that Ivan Soshnikov ’20 was especially proud of. 

“We fought like a team, that’s all it comes down to,” Ivan said. “This is the most resilient team I’ve ever been with.”

The Marauders were excellent on offense Wilson Urkov ’21 leading the Marauders with three goals. Players Cody Ferguson ’20, Jacob Yi ’21, Ivan Soshnikov ’20, and Keegan Moore ’23 were close behind with two goals each.

Jesuit’s defense was impeccable. Goalie Niko Tambornini ’21 had eight blocks and only allowed two goals in the second half. Despite his personal achievements, Niko wants the rest of his teammates’ effort to be acknowledged as well. 

“We played really good team defense, and we talked, which is something we didn’t do throughout this year,” Niko said. “Our communication was good this game, and we worked as a unit.”

The victory over GBHS doesn’t just mark a championship win but also caps off a comeback season for the water polo team. 

Early in the season, the Marauders struggled, but the team didn’t these difficulties drag them down. They worked hard and managed to climb their way to the championships which restored Ivan’s hope for his team.

“This team can achieve anything,” Ivan said. “We went from being one of the worst teams in the section, and here we are as section champions.”

Jesuit will continue its promising season as the No. 2 seed in the CIF NorCal Division II Playoffs. The Marauders host No. 7 seeded Menlo-Atherton High School at 5 p.m. tonight.