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Mercerwood shines in Midlakes water polo championships
The Mighty Mantas from Mercerwood Shore Club (MSC) dominated the Midlakes Water Polo League Championships. In the finals held at the Mercer Island Country Club on Sunday, Aug. 23, the MSC 12U, 14U and men’s open teams took first place in their divisions. The 10U team finished second and the 17U took fourth. All teams were coached by Colin Sterling and Teddy Trowbridge.
10U Mantas take second in championship game
A strong showing in the Midlakes water polo championship tournament brought Mercerwood Shore Club’s 10Us to face a tough Newport Hills team in the semi finals on Saturday with MSC winning, 9-3. That showdown put the MSC 10U’s up against a combined team from Norwood and Overlake clubs on Sunday morning. This would be the second match up of these teams in the championship rounds, with the NW/OL team taking the first contest, 8-5.
MSC jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a goal by Carson Coe. After three goals by NW/OL, MSC rebounded with a goal by A.J. Rossman that put the score at 3-2 at the half. Tessa Czech tied the score at 3-3 firing in another goal early in the 3rd quarter. But that was to be the last score of the game for MSC as the NW/OL team scored six more goals in the half to win the game at 9-3. With the loss, the 10U's finished the tournament and a very successful season as runner up champions among the eight team league.
The 10U Mantas were Shelby Burr, Carter Burr, Carson Coe, Tessa Czech, Leif Gullstad, Zane Jolley-Ruud, Matthew Kessler, Connor Lloyd, Carson Majewski, Hunter Peshkin, Mallory Phillips, AJ Rossman and Lindsay Seidner.
The Most Improved 10U was Mallory Phillips. AJ Rossman earned the Hardest Worker Award.
MSC claims 12U championship by defeating Newport Hills, 7-6
The MSC 12U team defeated Newport Hills, 7-6, in the championship game. The 12U team went undefeated through the championship, after having finished the season with a 5-1 record.
12U team members were Ian Caldwell, Piper Casey, Cameron Coe, Ford Whitman, Trevor Gullstad, Jack Larkin, Teddy Larkin, Matt Le Prowse, Dylan Majewski, Anthony Pedreira, Sam Petrini and Zack Rossman. 10U team members AJ Rossman and Lindsey Seiner also played up and joined the 12U squad for the championship game.
Newport Hills was looking for revenge after having lost to MSC earlier in the championships, 10-2, but MSC came out strong on offense and had a 7-1 lead early in the 3rd period. Zack Rossman pumped in 3 goals in the first half with assists from Cameron Coe and Trevor Gullstad. Trevor Gullstad also rifled in another goal before halftime. Playing in the hole, Sam Petrini slammed in goal and Jack Larkin’s goal rounded out the scoring in the first half, at which point MSC was leading 6-1.
Teddy Larkin started off the second half with a half-tank shot to put MSC up 7-1. Anthony Pedreira came into the game to shore up MSC’s defense and it looked like the Mantas were running away with the game. But Newport Hills came storming back with five unanswered goals to bring the score to 7-6 late in the fourth quarter and it was only by MSC goalie Matt LeProwse blocking a shot on goal and taking control of the ball with less than a minute to go that MSC was able to preserve the win.
Most Improved award for the 12U’s went to Trevor Gullstad. Teddy Larkin received the Hardest Worker Award. Sam Petrini received the Coach’s Award.
Mercerwood beats Edgebrook to take 14U title
The 14U Mantas beat Edgebrook in the finals to earn the 14U crown.
Members of the 14U squad were Connor Gullstad, Michael Goodwin, Connor Hagen, Andrea Hatsukami, Kalen Hopkins, Mallory Manzano, Sam Peterson, Keenan Piper, Nate Richards, Cedric Rhodes, Blake Seidner, and Elijah Wilgis.
Kalen Hopkins was given the Most Improved Award. Blake Siedner deserved and was awarded the Hardest Worker Award.
17U’s place fourth overall
The Mantas fielded their 17U team with age group players, Quinn Sterling and Cameron Manzano. (Sterling served double duty as an assistance coach of the 10U Norwood/Overlake team that beat Mercerwood in the 10U championship match.)
Due to one player traveling to Croatia to play with the U.S. Junior National Team and others leaving for college, the balance of the team consisted of younger Manta team members playing up one or two age groups. The team played well and held its own during the season and the championship tournament, failing to reach the semi-finals by one goal while eventually placing fourth overall.
The MSC Men’s Open Division takes first, beating Newport in overtime, 14-12
The Mercer Island Men’s Open team, made up of current and former Islander players, faced Newport in the championship game. Mercer Island jumped on Newport during the first quarter. Quinn Sterling started the scoring onslaught with a goal in the first minute of play as Mercer Island raced to a 7-1 lead. Blake VanHartsveldt led scoring with two goals during the quarter. A Newport goalie change in the second quarter and aggressive offensive play brought Newport to within one goal, 8-7, at the half. Teddy Trowbridge, current Mercerwood coach, helped maintain Mercer Island’s lead with a block of a Newport 5-meter penalty shot. The third and fourth periods were highlighted by great defense and goaltending as each team looked for a way to extend their lead.
With one minute left in regulation, a Newport goal put them ahead 11-10, but with 15 seconds on the clock Thomas Stowell, an MSC Alum, scored with a shot from 10 meters and sent the game into extra periods. In the extra periods, VanHarstvelt, Stowell and Sam Sussman all notched goals to secure the win for Mercer Island 14-12.
Members of the team included Sam Sussman, Blake VanHartsvelt, Kennan Adams, Henry Fox, Jonny Ahalt, Thomas Stowell, Quinn Sterling, Teddy Trowbridge, and Mike Smith-Bronstein. Kevin Goodwin, having already departed to USC for his freshman year, was awarded the Jeff Lowell Aquatics Award, which is given each year to the outstanding MSC water polo player. Kevin also received the Coach’s award. Long live QuakNu!