Scots lose in a heartbreaker to Aragon


Isa Khalak

Brendan Zelnis, a sophomore, winds up and attempts to score on the Dons.

Despite a magical comeback in the fourth quarter, Carlmont boys varsity water polo fell to Aragon with a score of 9-6.

As the final quarter began, it seemed dismal for the Scots. Down 6-3 after a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter from Aragon, the momentum was sorely out of Carlmont’s favor. However, Carlmont banded together with newfound strength.

Throughout the fourth quarter, Carlmont was able to build back their lead. They swiftly scored three goals. With this, the score was tied at 6-6. Anticipation was high as both teams needed a score with mere minutes left in the game.

Unfortunately, the Dons were the ones to score first. With this dose of momentum, Aragon scored again, extending their lead. As desperation set in, Aragon scored a third time solidifying their 9-6 lead.

“It was the last quarter, push everyone was putting in all their effort,” said Gavin McMichael, a senior varsity water polo player for the Scots.

Both teams went all out in the fourth quarter. It was the one lapse in an otherwise low-scoring game.

Although the Dons ended up outplaying the Scots in the end, this game represented so much more than its outcome. Coming together in the fourth quarter showed Carlmont’s dominance and spirit.

“Our strong point was rallying in the third and fourth quarter,” said Brendan Zelnis, a Carlmont sophomore water polo player. “We got the momentum going, we were calm, and we took better shots and passes.”

Throughout the game, the Scots played well. Aragon came out strong in the first quarter and jumped to an early 3-1 lead. The rest of the game contained a lot of back and forth; it didn’t seem like Carlmont was gaining ground on Aragon in the first half.

However, Carlmont also wasn’t letting Aragon blow them out of the water. They played tight defense and held the Dons to very few scores. Although it was a low-scoring game, both the Scots and Dons played skillfully.

“We’ve started to communicate much better,” said Gifford Calenda, head coach of the Scots. “Being at the end of the season, things start to get into place, so we played much better against Aragon today than we did last time.”

Elliot Pedrin, a junior goalkeeper, saves the Dons from scoring. (Isa Khalak)

This loss drops Carlmont to 1-6 on the season. However, throughout the season, it’s clear Carlmont grew as a team. Compared to the previous match against Aragon, Carlmont’s improvement is evident.

“They improved a lot,” said Carly DeMarchena, a coach for the Dons. “It was really their defense and their scrappiness. They were pushing us and getting us to lose the ball very easily.”

An added layer of depth to this match is the Scots missing practice. Due to COVID-19 policies, Carlmont missed out on a week of practice midseason.

“It’s an unfortunate kick,” Calenda said. “A week off in the middle of the year doesn’t help.”

However, the untamed Scots spirit brought them together to round out the season. Carlmont has proved to be resilient, and their development despite hard times speaks volumes.

“There was a very different team than what we saw the last time we played them,” DeMarchena said.