AWHS boys varsity water polo survives De La Salle in overtime


Ethan Frankel

Senior Jake Dixon celebrates the win over De La Salle after the long game.

In a matchup between two of the best teams in the country, AWHS boys varsity water polo faced off against De La Salle High School on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the AWHS pool. De La Salle went into the game ranked 12 in the country, and AWHS came into the game just behind De La Salle ranked at 14 (MaxPreps). 

De La Salle jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the first quarter. Sophomore goalie Haakon Lacy kept the Falcons in the game in the first quarter by making four saves, keeping the victory within reach. AWHS came within one point heading into halftime with a score of 7-6. 

In the second half, AWHS, led by Coach Matt Swanson’s strategic adjustments, kept up its comeback after De La Salle extended the lead 8-6. AWHS finished the third quarter on a 4-1 run and headed into the fourth quarter with a 10-9 lead. The first three quarters set the Falcons up for a fantastic fourth quarter, AWHS having a single-goal lead with two seconds left on the clock. De La Salle called a timeout and took a shot, scoring on Haakon. The game went to overtime tied up at 13 goals per team. 

In overtime, the Falcons scored first. Then, however, the Spartans responded with a goal for themselves. After a goal by senior Bennett Steiger, the Falcons went into halftime of overtime with a one-goal lead. AWHS was able to shut out De La Salle in the second half of overtime, and scored two goals to extend their lead to 17-14 and to end the game. 

Haakon, senior Jake Dixon, and Bennett helped lead the Falcons to victory. Haakon made a multitude of saves, including one with his head. Bennett scored 7 goals from the outside including 3 in overtime, and Jake scored 5 goals.

Matching the suspense of the game, the Falcon student section expressed excitement and support for the players. 

“It meant so much to me to see the student body cheering us on. I have always wanted there to be a large student section at a water polo games, and for there to be one tonight meant everything to me,” Jake said.

The Falcons next game is on Wednesday, Oct. 6 against San Rafael High School hosted at the San Rafael High School pool.

“This is one of the best teams San Rafael has ever had, so it will be fun to go over and play them. I am confident in my boys’ ability to go get a win though,” Swanson said.

 The Falcons hope to improve upon their overall record of 12-0 and league record of 5-0 in their next game against the Bulldogs.