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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 3:23 am | Fair 39º

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Water Polo

Adam Fuller Steps Up on Offense in San Marcos’ 12-6 Win Over Dos Pueblos

Adam Fuller of San Marcos reaches high to block a shot by Dylan Elliott of Dos Pueblos. Click to view larger
Adam Fuller of San Marcos reaches high to block a shot by Dylan Elliott of Dos Pueblos. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

San Marcos water polo coach Jeff Ashton said Adam Fuller usually plays a more defensive role for the team.

Fuller turned offensive Tuesday night at Dos Pueblos, scoring three goals in the first half to spark the Royals to a 12-6 victory that kept them in sole possession of second place in the Channel League.

San Marcos (21-7) improves to 5-2 in league with a remaining game against 4-3 Ventura at home on Thursday afternoon. Dos Pueblos (15-14) ends the season in fourth place in league at 3-5.

Fuller got the Royals going with a goal from the perimeter early in the first quarter. He made it 3-0 with an impressive play in front of the Chargers’ goal. As Dos Pueblos goalie Ben Cable knocked a ball away, Fuller got his right hand up and batted the ball back into the goal. He later threw a beautiful entry pass to Miles Cole, who scored on a wicked backhand shot for a 5-0 lead.

Dos Pueblos got on the scoreboard on a shot by Madison Montag at the 2:22 mark of the second quarter before Fuller finished off a pass from Koss Klobucher for a 6-1 advantage. San Marcos led 7-2 at halftime.

“I kind of play a different position than I usually do,” Fuller explained of his scoring opportunities. “We match up with DP differently than we do with other teams. I just got open and my teammates got me the ball."

He added: “They were dropping off us from all kinds of different places throughout the game and we were able to find the open man and put the ball in the goal."

Ashton said Fuller has always had an ability to score goals.

“It’s there, he just focuses on defense, but we took that job and gave it to Miles (Cole) and asked Adam to do some different things,” Ashton said. “He’s always been capable. That was never his role. It’s good to see him getting involved offensively.”

San Marcos goalie Ben Spievak stops a Dos Pueblos shot during the Royals 12-6 win. Click to view larger
San Marcos goalie Ben Spievak stops a Dos Pueblos shot during the Royals 12-6 win. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Fuller, Spencer Wood and Jesse Morrison each scored three goals in San Marcos’ balanced attack. Cole had two goals and Trevor Ricci added one.

The San Marcos defense was stellar as it shut down DP’s top two scorers, Dylan Elliott and Taylor Gustasson.

Madison Montag scored two goals and Luke Plant, Matt Binkley, Jason Teng, Wyatt Meckelborg and Elliott each had one for DP.

“We did not do a very good job of generating offense and when that happens you become very susceptible to easy counterattack goals the other way,” DP coach Connor Levoff said. “I think that was the story of the game. They had a really good defensive plan and keyed on our big scorers and took away the looks we’ve been getting all year consistently. We didn’t adjust super well and struggled as a result. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well and turned the ball over a ton.”

Ashton had high praise for his defense and goalie Ben Spievak.

“We do everything right defensively and some shot will go in late on the shot clock after we spent 25 seconds of playing good defense. It’s deflating,” Ashton said. “Today, everything he was supposed to block he did. There were few times the defense broke down but he’d come up big.  That was really good for morale and good for the team.”

Fuller said the Royals were extra motivated to win this game after suffering 14-13 loss at home on a last-second shot by DP.

“It definitely motivated us.  We wanted to prove that we’re the better team, and I think we did that today.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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