By GERARDO RECINOS
There was a definite size difference in a lot of things when you get to the Soda Aquatic Center on the campus of Campolindo High School. The pool, the size of the team.
All things considered, the Bulldog varsity water polo team battled back from a rough start in their 14-8 loss to the Cougars on Wednesday, Sept. 30 in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League opener.
Before three full minutes had passed on the clock in the first period, Campolindo had already scored five times. The Bulldog boys had similar problems to the girls in that they had trouble defeating the man pressing and getting any drivers into strong attacking positions.
The first five Campo goals were scored by four different players. The Cougars’ senior captain Yurii Hanley scored the opening and third goal, while the team’s other captain Cole Stevens scored two himself. Stevens also assisted a goal for Peter Brasssinga.
In the final two minutes of the first period the Cougars assured themselves that they could rest their starters for the rest of the game by jumping to an 8-1 lead. Stevens struck once more on a quick counter attack, and Brassinga scored twice more to close the period.
Alhambra senior captain Bailey Abbott did manage to score on a five-meter won by junior Luke Brown with 36 seconds left in the period to get Alhambra some kind of result in the period and to take a tiny bit of momentum into the rest of the match.
The boys coped with the Cougar pressing slightly better in the second period than they did in the first, but there was still some frustration to the lack of drivers working hard to create chances.
Defensively Alhambra only allowed two more goals in the period, while grabbing one for themselves on a rare miscue by Campolindo that left Bulldog captain Nick Lucido alone from 10 yards out. Lucido buried his chance with 47 seconds left in the half.
In the second half Alhambra outscored the Campolindo substitutes 6-4, but by then the goals were merely consolation.
Alhambra did better against the second and third units from Campolindo however, and looked stronger when they possessed the ball.
The Campo unit still looked as if it was playing with a man advantage even when both team’s were at full strength. In the third period, Abbott, Dylan Hammond and Ryan Fowlar’s goals were matched by efforts from sophomore Christian Meckfessel (who scored two in the period) and junior Wayne Hawkins.
Alhambra outscored the Cougars 3-1 in the final period, with goals from Lucido, Brown and Tony Moore coming before Campo senior Ben Conley fired in his first of the match.
The Bulldogs will next dive back into action in the San Luis Obispo tournament taking place this weekend (Friday and Saturday). The boys’ next DFAL match will be at home against the reigning North Coast Section, Division I champion Miramonte boys water polo team on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.