CLAIREMONT WINS THRILLER AGAINST MATER DEI, TAKES HOME 1ST PLACE AT THE EAST COUNTY CUP:
The Clairemont Boy’s Water Polo team completed their 12 games in 8 day run with a thrilling 11-10 victory over Mater Dei Catholic to win the East County Cup on Saturday at West Hills High. The Chieftains took one to the chin early as the Crusaders jumped to a quick 2-0 lead at the start of the game. But Clairemont was not dazed, answering back with goals from Jake Stone and Derek Kagen to tie the game 2-2. Mater Dei responded back with another goal late in the quarter to give them a 3-2 advantage, but Cristian Ferretti helped Clairemont respond again by finishing his opportunity on transition to tie the game 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Chieftains opened the second quarter in dominant fashion, controlling the game on both sides of the ball. Derek Kagen, Jacob Keville, and Nathan Seaux scored to push the Clairemont advantage to 6-3. But just as it seemed like Clairemont was going to turn the corner and run away with this one, Mater Dei caught a lucky break. As the Chieftains pushed a 4 on 2 counter attack down the pool, and back court offensive foul was called leading to a 2 on 0 counter attack the other way. Instead of going up by a commanding 7-3 lead, the Crusaders cut the deficit to 2. That was all the motivation they needed. The final minute of the second quarter was all Mater Dei, scoring 3 goals in a :53 second time frame to take the lead from Clairemont 7-6 at half time.
Faced with their first half time deficit in San Diego this season, the Clairemont boys knew they had to dig down and battle hard if they were going to take this one. Shaking off the 4-0 run Mater Dei used to close the first half, the Chiefs emerged in the third quarter with poise and focus. The boys smothered the Crusader offense on the first possession, countered hard to offense where they methodically worked the ball around, finally entering the ball into center where Jake Stone muscled home a goal to even the game at 7. The remainder of the quarter was a back alley brawl between two evenly matched foes. Both teams refused to relinquish a goal to the other. That’s when Eddie Hasanagic made his first heroic play of the game – stealing the ball at half tank with 3 seconds remaining, Eddie recognized that the goalie was out of position and launched a lob shot that scored at the buzzer to give Clairemont an 8-7 lead.
The 4th quarter had everyone on the edge of their seats. Mater Dei fought desperately to close that 1 goal deficit, but every time they managed to tie the game our boys would score again. Derek Kagen broke the first tie by scoring his 3rd goal of the match to put the Chiefs up 9-8. But only a minute later the Crusaders scored to even it. Another minute of game play past, and this time it was Cristian Ferretti who scored to give Clairemont another 1 goal lead. This lead didn’t last long, as Mater Dei yet again found a way to score and tie the game 10-10. The final minute of play was intense! With the game tied, Clairemont looked to put the ball in the hands of their closer Nathan Seaux, who drew a power play with :40 seconds remaining. That’s when Eddie Hasanagic made his second heroic play of the game, scoring what would be the game winning goal off a Nathan Seaux pass to the post with :25 seconds remaining. The Crusaders ran a timeout play for their final possession of the game that got the ball in the hands of their best player, but he was unable to put away his shot from the perimeter and the Chieftains were able to play keep away to kill the clock and take home the East County Cup.
Goals – Derek Kagen (3), Jake Stone (2), Cristian Ferretti (2), Eddie Hasanagic (2), Jacob Keville (1), Nathan Seaux (1)
Assists – Nathan Seaux (3), Hutton Smith (3), Jacob Keville (1), Eddie Hasanagic (1)
Steals – Jacob Keville (6), Eddie Hasanagic (6), Cristian Ferretti (3), Nathan Seaux (3), Hutton Smith (3), Derek Kagen (2), Jonah Stratton (1), Jake Stone (1)
Blocks – Jonah Stratton (6)
The Chieftians improve to 19-2 on the season. The boys have a 13 day hiatus before returning to action on October 12th to take part in the Ocean View Invite in Huntington Beach. GO CHIEFTAINS!!!