By CHRIS VACCA
Special to the Reporter
Coming off a three-game losing streak in league play, the Mercer Island boys water polo team rallied to beat Newport, 11-9, at Newport’s pool to improve its record to 3-6 on Oct. 14.
This group is beginning to play together as a team, which was evident by generating eight steals, two field blocks and three ejections drawn on their opponent and an overall stellar defensive game.
The Islanders got out to an early start with a 3-1 lead after the first quarter. Newport shut Mercer Island out in the second quarter and had a 4-3 halftime lead. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, but freshman Torger Peterson’s no-look goal helped rally the Islanders in the fourth quarter.
With goalie Jacob Swerland easing back into the water after an injury, both he and sophomore Finn Freidland made some outstanding saves to seal the win. Combined, they saved 17 Newport shots in the victory. On offense, Max Vacca led the team with five goals and four assists. Peterson added two goals, and Finn Freidland, Justin Jradi, Oliver Schaaf and Lucas Peng all chipped in with goals of their own.
The Islanders will take a break from league play and will head down south to San Diego for an annual three-day tournament to test their skills against some of the best high school water polo in California.