Scots fail to counter the Dons

Owen+Finigan%2C+a+senior%2C+takes+a+shot+against+Aragon.

Anika Marino

Owen Finigan, a senior, takes a shot against Aragon.

Carlmont Scots varsity boys water polo lost 10-6 against the Aragon Dons in a challenging game filled with counterattacks.

The Dons started strong in the first quarter, winning the sprint against the Scots. The referees immediately stopped play, as there was some confusion over the game clock at the desk. Typically, the clock begins once one team has gained possession of the ball, but the clock started when the start-of-game whistle sounded.

After fixing the clock, the game continued with several turnovers between the two teams. The struggle broke when Carlmont gained an advantage after Avery Misher, an Aragon player, had been ejected. Unfortunately, the Scots were not able to score, despite being a player up. 

The back-and-forth between the Dons and Scots continued after the failed attempt. A senior at Carlmont, Derrick Chan, credited some turnovers to the Scots’ inability to get the ball in the correct position on offense.

“We didn’t look much into set, and Owen and Jochen were open a lot,” Chan said.

A turnover was called for the Dons, giving possession back to the Scots. Arman Zahabi, an Aragon senior, was ejected, giving the Dons another disadvantage. This time, Carlmont was able to take advantage of the defense being a player down. Alexey Krytsyn, a Carlmont senior, made the first goal of the game. 

Even though they lost their after-goal possession and Misher got a second ejection, Evan Molloy scored a point for Aragon. Xavier McKenzie, a junior at Aragon, scored a second goal for the Dons with a missed backhand and then a rebound. They continued their streak as Ethan Xie made Aragon’s third goal of the game.

“Something we did well as a team was reorganize [when we are] on the fast breaks,” McKenzie said.

The Dons’ streak broke as the game fell back into the trend of constant counterattacks. Both teams had several turnovers resulting from pushing the ball under the water. Zahabi was able to break the continuous swimming and scored Aragon’s fourth goal in a row.

Going into the second quarter, the Scots managed to win the sprint, but the shot clock ran out before attempting to shoot. Molloy made another goal for Aragon, putting the Dons up 5-1. However, he was ejected in the following possession. His ejection allowed Brendan Zelnis, a sophomore, to get Carlmont’s second point on the board. 

A penalty was called on senior Nick Frandsen against Aragon, letting Owen Finigan, a senior, score the Scots’ third point in a shot from the 5-meter line. After Krytsyn was ejected, Frandsen was also ejected. This advantage allowed Alexander Makeev, a sophomore, to score another goal for Carlmont. 

The third quarter kicked off with a penalty against Lucas Calenda, a senior at Carlmont, but Xie couldn’t score on the 5-meter shot. However, he was able to score after a quick switch in possession from the shot’s rebound. Konstantin Pejakovic, a Carlmont junior’s ejection, gave Xie another chance to shoot, scoring 7-4 in favor of Aragon.

 

Xavier McKenzie, a junior at Aragon, makes an attempt on the Carlmont goal. (Anika Marino)

Soon after, McKenzie made another goal for Aragon, quickly followed by another goal from Xie. This brought Aragon’s lead to 9-4.

 

After Xie’s goal, one of Carlmont’s coaches, Gifford Calenda, called a timeout. After the quick timeout, the referees ejected Molloy, but the Scots could not capitalize on it.

In the final seconds of the third quarter, Nico Paoli, a senior, scored Aragon’s tenth goal. 

“We had a great first quarter and third quarter,” said Carly DeMarchena, Aragon’s head coach.

Carlmont won the sprint in the final quarter but could not make an attempt on the goal, despite Zahabi’s second ejection. Three minutes of counterattacks followed as neither team had an ejection or a goal. 

Finally, the counterattacks were broken with McKenzie’s ejection, allowing Lucas Calenda to score for Carlmont. With a minute left in the game, the referees called a double ejection on Xie and Dylan Lobo, a junior at Carlmont. Neither team could shoot, and the final score was 10-6, with Aragon on top.

“The game was a learning experience. We could have played better,” Gifford Calenda said. “We are going to keep focusing on teamwork and looking at how to pass better.”

Michael Father, a senior goalie for the Scots, agreed with his coach’s critiques.

“We have a lot of work to do when it comes to communication and passing,” Father said.

Despite winning, McKenzie believed that Aragon also had room to improve.

“We could have done better at pressure passing and passing while the defender is heavily on us,” McKenzie said.