Carlsbad water polo defeats Vista in a pre-CIF showdown

Kelsey Aijala, staff writer

There was a lot on the line for the boys water polo team during their game against Vista at La Jolla High School on Saturday Nov. 3. Every year these two rivals meet for a pre-CIF showdown, but since their loss to Vista last year in the CIF championship Carlsbad felt they had something to prove.

“Last year was the first CIF title we’d lost in eight years and it’s been motivation for us,” Coach Feaster said. “[This year] we wanted to work hard and put ourselves in the position to play for another CIF championship.”

Carlsbad came out fighting, with senior Ken Ikedo winning the first sprint. Even though Carlsbad was down 2-1 after the first quarter, they tied it up at 4-4 by halftime, with junior Kevin Chapa scoring three of Carlsbad’s four goals.

“It was a well fought game,” senior Matt Ruple said. “We were very evenly matched.”

The game progressed in a back and forth fashion, each team alternating the lead position until Carlsbad was up 10-9 with just one minute left. Vista took a quick time-out and came back to tie the game in the last thirty seconds. Just like last year’s CIF game, the two teams would battle in overtime, but the Carlsbad boys weren’t stressed.

“These are the games we practice for all season,” senior Shaun Robinson said.

After the first quarter of over-time Vista seemed to have the game won with their 12-11 lead, but the game wasn’t over yet. During the sixth and final quarter, seniors Ken Ikedo and Rich Farley added to their goal counts for the game and put Carlsbad in the lead 13-12.

A save by senior Dom Zocco in the last minute of the game secured Carlsbad’s victory.

“I was proud of the guys,” Coach Feaster said. “They showed a lot of heart and determination. They really stepped up.”

In the past, the winner of this game has lost the CIF championship, but this superstition is not phasing the Carlsbad boys. They feel their abilities will determine how well they do in CIF.

“We’re feeling pretty strong,” senior Matt Ruple said. “With this win we’ll be ceded highly and that will give us a good chance at achieving our goal of winning another CIF championship.”