In the first three quarters at the Santa Ynez High School pool, both Cabrillo and the Pirates exchanged the lead eight different times, with the biggest margin at one goal in this boys water polo league match.
But then came the fourth quarter, as Santa Ynez went on to score five of the last six goals to take the 13-8 victory on Senior Day Wednesday.
Pirates head coach Jake Kawlkowski said his team’s stamina emerged at the most crucial moment of this rivalry game that traditionally indicates who takes the lead in the Los Padres League standings.
“I guess conditioning pays off,” said Kalkowski, whose team improved to 3-0 in LPL standings. “We always focus on that. So if it shows up in the fourth quarter like that, then I guess it pays off in practice.”
Both LPL aquatic powerhouses immediately traded goals after the Pirates’ senior class was honored before the game. Cabrillo’s Olat Luna struck first with his goal at the 4:03 mark. Joe Hemming of the Pirates, however, evened things up right away with his goal that took a bounce off the water before hitting the back of the net.
Luna got CHS to respond next with his second goal near the 1:40 mark. Collin Jamison responded by tying the game up at 2-2 with his tally. Nolan Morrison then gave the Pirates their first lead with his score near the end of the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Luna showed his defensive side by stealing the ball near the SYHS goal, then immediately lobbing a pass to Josh Rowe, who fired in his first goal of the game, tying things up at 3-3.
Kyle O’Neil of the Pirates helped end the first half with his goal with less than three minutes left before the break. The veteran head coach Kawlkowski says his team didn’t have the right spark from the early outset.
“We made a lot of mistakes early. Cabrillo came ready to play,” Kawlkowski said. “We didn’t play up to our potential in the first half. They do a great job of playing well.
“They’ve been competitive with us all the time. It’s a game we look forward to and our guys get amped up to play against them.”
Isaac Thomas got the second half started by flinging his goal to tie it up at 4-4. Then, Allen Clarke got the Pirates to change the lead for the fifth time in the contest, scoring near the six-minute mark. Cabrillo (7-5, 2-1 in the LPL) got back-to-back goals from Rowe and Garrett Stanton to retake the lead at 6-5.
After Morrison tacked on his second goal to tie things up at 6-6, Stanton again got CHS on the board with his second goal, but that would be the last time Cabrillo led.
Morrison and Connor Hiatt tacked on the next two scores for the Pirates – and the lead ballooned from there as Hiatt, Keller Haws, Henry Allen and Allen Clarke helped finish off the traditional LPL power CHS with their goals.
Cabrillo head coach Jeff Dacus believed his starting lineup got burnt out during the final quarter.
“I think fatigue was a factor on our side. I played six field players the whole game. It’s hard to find that guy off the bench and get him in this kind of a caliber of a game because SYHS is good,” Dacus said. “They’re going to find the weak link and capitalize on that every time. I had to stick with the starting group knowing they’re going to protect the ball at a minimum. I think fatigue was a little bit of a factor.”
Dacus ended the day by sending this emphatic message: He wants one or two of his bench players to ignite the team.
“I need two guys who didn’t get to play today to be mad about not playing today. I need some reserves stepping up – and they will,” Dacus said.
Central Coast Pro Tennis Open
Local wild card and Gonzaga University junior Sophie Whittle upset No. 3 seed Francoise Abanda of Canada 6-2, 6-3 at the Templeton Tennis Ranch in the first round of the inaugural $60,000 Central Coast Pro Tennis Open.
Whittle is an Arroyo Grande High School graduate. She won four league singles titles when she played there, and Whittle was the No. 1 singles player for the Eagles squad that won the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship.
After pulling off the big upset Wednesday, Whittle was quoted in a press release as saying, "I have no idea what I just did, I'm just shaking. I think I played the best I've ever played, or at least the smartest I've ever played.
"After I let the nerves go away after the first couple of games, I felt a little better and just told myself I could do it."
Whittle will face Laura Robson of Great Britain at 6 p.m. Thursday night in the second round. The entire tournament is taking place at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.
San Marcos 17, Santa Ynez 1
The Royals defeated the Pirates in a non-league match. No details were available.
Nipomo 11, Templeton 7 (Tuesday)
Julia Johnson won all three of her sets at No. 1 singles as the Titans beat the Eagles in a Los Padres League match at Templeton for their first win of the year.
Sarah Hickenbottom and Taylor Kaiser won three doubles sets for the Titans.