Bishop’s Knights water polo defeats La Jolla Vikings in rematch, 6-5

The 2018 Bishop’s School water polo team

Call it a home-field advantage, but when The Bishop’s School Knights took on rival La Jolla High School Vikings at their home pool Feb. 6, they were victorious 6-5. They now split the hometown rivalry. The two teams squared off Jan. 16 at La Jolla’s Coggan Pool, at which time the Vikings won 7-6.

And in a repeat back-and-forth battle, the Knights kept the win at home.

At the last minute, the game time changed, and La Jolla Light was not able to attend the match, but we got this recap from coaches Doug Peabody (The Bishop’s School) and Amy Jenning (La Jolla High School).

Just 27 seconds into the first quarter, Knight Sierra Martin scored a goal from the two-meter position. The goal would be the only one scored through the first period, and well into the second.

With less than a minute-and-a-half left in the second quarter, Viking Jessica Newell tied the game, 1-1. But Bishop’s quickly answered to make the score 2-1 at the half.

Bursting into the third quarter, the Vikings scored three and Bishop’s scored two, tying it up at four apiece. Keeping the streak going in the fourth quarter, senior Knight Klara Chisholm scored about a minute into the quarter, and held the 5-4 score until freshman Knight Sophia Sanders scored to make it 6-4 Bishop’s with two-and-a-half minutes left in the quarter.

However, a penalty shot was called against Bishop’s when the goalie took the ball underwater and Viking Katy Koenig scored to inch the score to 6-5. But the Knights were able to run out the clock and close the game 6-5.

Calling the action “spread out,” and without reliance on one offensive player, Peabody said four players each scored a goal, and sophomore Katie Scott scored two (a team has six field players and one goalie). “Our team showed a lot of heart and executed strong defense,” he said. “Freshman Sofia Stein played the whole game as goalie, and she had nine saves and five steals. Her playing was gigantic in the success of our game.”

On the Vikings side, Jenning said the team’s strength is on offense, but the Vikings and the Knights are evenly matched.

“I feel like our teams are identical, we both have talented young players that are trying to figure it all out for themselves. Both teams made mistakes and both teams scored goals,” she said. “Our offense was great but we need to get better at turning over our 6-on-5 opportunities (in which, similar to hockey, a player can be ejected). When a player gets ejected for 20 seconds, we have an extra player in the pool. We haven’t been able to convert and score on those opportunities. That’s something we are going to work on.”

In the February match, she reports there were four Knight ejections, but the Vikings were not able to score during any of these penalties. “Our goalie also did really well and kept the scoring low, but both goalies did a great job,” she added.