After winning it all last year, the eyes were on us for our first game of the new season.
In the first five minutes of our first game against UC Santa Barbara, we conceded two flukey goals, but we weren’t shaken. The squad answered right back with 6 unanswered goals. By halftime, we had amassed a comfortable 5 goal lead and ended the match with a 17-9 win. This game showed the league that UCSD men’s club water polo is back and maybe even better than last year.
In game two we came up against one of our long-time rivals, UCLA. Although the Tritons are not in the same league as the Bruins, this preseason game is always a close one every year. This year, though, it wasn’t so close as UCSD dominated with a 14-7 win. Everyone on the team played confident, dominant water polo. Especially Luke Childs, an impressive incoming freshman hole-set. He was 1st team all-league for Berkeley High School last year and didn’t miss a beat transitioning to the next level. He scored multiple goals in just his second ever game in college!
The next game was against Miramar, and they came out strong and played fundamental water polo for all 32 minutes. Halfway through the game, we slowed down to work on setting up a more spaced-out offense. There were aggressive players on the opposing team, but we kept up and didn’t lose our composure. During the game, we continually cycled players in and out of play which kept everyone fresh and gave loads of practice to the newer and less experienced players. It was overall a great learning experience. UCSD wins 15-4.
The last game against Mesa was the most anticipated game of the weekend. We came out very strong and had a 7-1 first quarter. This felt like we had wrapped up the game. However, starting in the second, Mesa went on a 4-goal scoring run which cut the lead to 5-7. Midway through the second we switched around and wrapped it up to a 5-4 quarter putting the game at 11-6. In the second half, we played very composed and never slipped up again. Of note, a new player, Andrew Cagney scored an astonishing 8 goals! It’s safe to assume he will be a dominant force for our team for years to come. UCSD wins 22-8.