Although shots were many, goals were few in the first half of the first La Jolla High School Vikings/Bishop’s School Knights girls water polo game, held Jan. 3 at Coggan Pool on the Vikings campus.
But as both teams picked up steam in the second half, the Knights defeated the Vikings 11-5.
Going into the match, the Knights, coached by Doug Peabody, were 1-3 for the season; whereas the Vikings, coached by Amy Jennings, went into the game 4-1.
Eager to get the cross-town rivalry going, both teams aggressively pursued the ball in the first half, and took advantage of as many shots as they could, but the first point wasn’t scored until almost five minutes had lapsed into the first period, when a shot by Knight Maggie Johnson arced over the Viking goalie like a basketball three-pointer into the net.
Throughout this period (and beyond), several shots were taken toward the goal, but nearly all were deflected by the goalie or bounced off the edge of the cage. In the second quarter, only one goal was scored by the Knights, despite multiple attempts, bringing the score to 2-0 Bishop’s at halftime.
But at the start of the second half, things took a turn. Both teams, but especially the Knights, regrouped, took a breath, focused and thrived.
“We had a really good half time in terms of making adjustments and the defense we were playing, we just adjusted really well,” said Coach Peabody.
“We settled down and talked to each of the girls about what they could do more efficiently that worked better.”
More focused defense, he added, contributed to easier offensive opportunities.
In the third quarter, which Peabody said “made a huge difference” in the Knight’s victory, players took advantage.
Players such as Alexandra Bonaguidi scored two goals with three shots. And while each team added four goals, with the Knights having a two-point lead going in, the score was boosted to 6-4 Bishop’s.
“They settled in and took the opportunity to take a deep breath and take advantage of what was available,” Peabody said.
Riding the energetic wave, the Knights continued to smartly score, adding three more goals in the fourth quarter to the Vikings’ one, bringing the score to 11-5.
Across the second half, Johnson had three goals, three assists and three steals; Sophia Sanders had two goals, two assists and four steals; Katie Scott had two goals, two assists and two steals; goalie Sofia Stein had 10 saves, two steals and one assists.
— The La Jolla High School vs. Bishop’s School rivalry continues when the teams rematch 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 at The Bishop’s School pool, 7607 La Jolla Blvd.