La Jolla water polo falls short at Coronado

Rick LeBeau

Special to the Light

Fresh off a championship run at an Orange County water polo tournament this past weekend and riding a seven game winning streak, La Jolla High met Coronado on Wednesday for a showdown at dusk at the Islander’s pool. The two teams had already played twice this season, with each team winning a game.

As is the case with these Western League matchups involving La Jolla, Bishop’s and Coronado, there are no easy games. This game was no exception. While the Vikings peppered the ‘Nado goalie with 12 first quarter shots, only two found the back of the net in the waning moments, allowing the Vikes to tie the game.

The second and third quarters were encores of the first, as the Islanders scored to break a tie game, with La Jolla putting together a scoring play to knot the game once again. Finally, with the game once again tied late in the third quarter, Brandon Flores unleashed a backhand shot that beat the ‘Nado goalie, giving the Vikings their first lead of the game, 8-7.

Following an exclusion, Coronado worked the ball to an open man and scored with less than one half second remaining to knot the score at 8-8 entering the final quarter. The game stayed tense and tight until the Islanders took the lead 9-8 with less than two minutes remaining. The Vikes were unable to capitalize on their last few possessions, and were shut out in the fourth quarter. Nado added a final tally with a few seconds remaining to notch a crucial 10-8 victory in this league game.

For La Jolla, Brandon Flores led the scoring with three goals, while Dylan Hallman and Nick Reynolds each contributed two. The Vikings have two more games prior to CIF playoffs, where they hope to meet the Islanders for a fourth time this season.