Sports

Islanders starts league play with 3 wins and 1 loss | Water polo

By Pat Fox

Contributed

Throughout the start of league play, MIHS boys water polo has been developing scoring threats and improving defensive pressure as they’ve gone 3-1 over their first four games.

“We have an extremely athletic team that has huge offensive potential that we’re working on developing,” said head coach Ryan Hall. This has been evident as the scoring has become more balanced across the team, and the Islanders have been more successful limiting opposition goals.

In first league game, the Islander boys beat Newport 18-9. Seniors Eugene Chong and Henry Fox combined for 5 of the Islanders first quarter 6 goals, as Mercer Island rolled to an 18-9 victory. Chong totaled 8 goals in the game, Fox had 3, senior Evan Moline added 2, seniors Jim Deiparine, Kyle Moline, and Eric Benca each added 1 goal, while sophomore Sam Peterson and freshman Austin Ralph also each added 1.

The following week, the Islanders faced CPA, a club team of year-round athletes whose high schools don’t offer water polo. Fox scored 7 of the Islanders 8 first half goals before the CPA defense clamped down and allowed only 1 MIHS goal in the second half. CPA won the contest 10-9. Fox scored 7, Chong had 1, and senior Ethan Hallowell had 1.

In the next two games, more of the Islanders contributed to the scoring while the defense stepped up. In the first half of the game vs Shorewood, MIHS outscored their opponent 12-1, and finished the half with senior Doug Mahoney’s 5-meter penalty goal. The Islanders went on to win 15-3. Chong and junior Alex Straughan each scored 3, Fox, Benca, and freshman Kalen Hopkins each added 2, and seniors Zac Zilz, Evan Moline, and Doug Mahony each added 1.

In the most recent game against Roosevelt, once again the Islander defense was on display. The Islander boys did not allow a single goal in the second half, lead by the performance of MIHS goalies John Ahalt and Ken Trowbridge. In the second quarter, Ahalt pulled down a Roosevelt shot from the left side and then made a precise outlet pass to Evan Moline counter-attacking down the right side of the pool, resulting in a MIHS goal. In the fourth quarter, Trowbridge made a similar save and great outlet pass to Straughan on the left side who then lobbed a pass to Evan Moline in front of the goal who batted it into the net for the final Islander goal of the game. Evan Moline finished the game with 3 goals, Fox, Chong, Hallowell, and Hopkins each had 2, and Deiparine, Straughan, and Sam Peterson had 1 goal apiece.

The MIHS boys water polo team plays Bainbridge next on Oct. 21, at 8:30 p.m. at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

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