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Home / Johnny Mattox

Monrovia Water Polo Can’t Hold On Against Polytechnic

Monrovia boys water polo battled tough but gave up a three-goal lead in its 7-6 triple overtime loss to Polytechnic on Monday. – Photo by Aaron Valdez / Beacon Media News

By Aaron Valdez

While Monday’s preseason game between Monrovia and Polytechnic didn’t hold many league or playoff implications, the intense atmosphere made every spectator think otherwise.

The Wildcats held a 6-3 at the end of the third quarter but a shift in momentum helped the Panthers climb all the way back to take the game 7-6 in a triple overtime thriller.

“We made minor mistakes but nothing too drastic,” said Monrovia Head Coach Kris Williams. “We played seven quarters of hard water polo, really aggressive, really getting at it, and it just so happens that the other team got the winning goal first.”

Monrovia went into Monday’s game coming off a middle-of-the-road showing at the Chino Hills Tournament over the weekend where the team went 2-2. Despite the Panthers striking first to go up 1-0, the Wildcats swiftly responded to level the game at the end of the first while going on to open 5-1 at the half.

Offensively, senior Grant Pierce was Monrovia’s main catalyst, scoring two goals within the first half while finishing the game with a total of three. Richie Martinez was also in the mix as he netted the goal to put Monrovia up 5-2.

In the third quarter, Monrovia and Polytechnic traded goals but it was clear as the water they swam in that the Panthers were not about to go down without a fight.

The turning point of the game came in the fourth when Polytechnic managed to lace in back-to-back goals within a minute of each other to cut Monrovia’s lead to 6-5. This opened the floodgates for the Panthers as they fought tooth and nail to squeeze in the equalizer before the final buzzer.

Lo and behold, the Panthers were successful and managed to sneak in a goal to pull the game even right before the final buzzer.

During the extra periods, Monrovia and Polytechnic went back and forth in search of the game-winning goal.

Michael Mendoza – Monrovia’s backup goalie who was subbed on in the first half to replace the injured Johnny Mattox and had not been trained as a goalie this season, according to Williams – had himself a game for the ages. The junior recorded seven total saves while making key saves in overtime to keep the Wildcats in the game.

Unfortunately for Monrovia, even that wasn’t enough to keep the Panthers at bay as they scored in triple overtime off a rebound that glanced off the post. This gave Polytechnic the win while Monrovia fell to a 9-5 record.

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