Valley loses close semi final game against Long Beach Saturday.
By Vicente Vitela , Staff Writer
Monarchs water polo fell to Long Beach City College Vikings in an 8-7 championship eliminator.
The nail biter finale came down to a shot by Valley with under 10 seconds to spare, which bounced off the goal post, costing the Monarchs a chance at the title.
“We couldn’t find the back of the net” said Coach Jim McMillan about why they couldn’t tie the game.
The crowd came expecting to see a water polo match, but witnessed Tyson and Holyfield. Both teams dove into the pool ready for battle, which was evident with a 2-2 tie to end the first period.
Vikings scored a goal to start the second period, putting the Monarchs behind early. Valley’s Carson Arnett, however, answered with a goal at the 5:20 mark.
The next three minutes featured both sides trading steals and empty possessions. This exchange culminated with a foul by the Monarchs, giving Long Beach a successful penalty shot by Myles Martinez. Off the arm of Haik Gukasyan, the Monarch resilience shined once more with only 20 seconds left in the half.
Tensions rose in the third quarter when Monarch Vasil Halchev headbutted a Viking, earning a foul call. Long Beach began to pull away with a 8-5 lead after two unanswered goals put a stop to Monarchs’ momentum.
Down by three points, the urgency pushed Valley to chip away the lead. Louis Brunner and Halchev scored consecutive goals to outmatch the Viking defense which is ranked number two in the state.
As time winded down, the Monarchs gained possession with just 10 seconds remaining. Aram Nordanyan took the shot for Valley, but it ricocheted off the bar, along with it any hope for a title.
“It was a good battle against a good team” said McMillan.
The Monarchs would go on to lose their third place game against Citrus College 11-10, settling for fourth place.