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Water Polo

Chase Raisin Leads Sophomore Surge in Santa Barbara Win Over San Marcos

Chase Raisin fires shot on goal during Santa Barbara’s 10-6 win over San Marcos. Raisin score three goals for the Dons. Click to view larger
Chase Raisin fires shot on goal during Santa Barbara’s 10-6 win over San Marcos. Raisin score three goals for the Dons. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Sophomore Chase Raisin of Santa Barbara High had his hands full guarding San Marcos senior Sam Fuller in Thursday’s Channel League crosstown water polo game.

Raisin held his own as a defender and, as a bonus for the Dons, scored three goals, sparking a 10-6 victory at the Santa Barbara pool.

“Coach (Mark) Walsh had me guard Fuller because he’s a great player with Trevor Ricci. That duo is extremely good,” said Raisin.

On his offensive output, he said:  “Trevor was guarding Jacob (Castillo) because he’s a great shooter and that left me open a few times.”

Raisin took advantage of his opportunities. He scored two goals during a five-goal run by Santa Barbara that blew open the game. 

“Chase has been amazing,” Walsh said. “He’s a real gamer, he’s got a lot confidence. He’s really taken that role of guarding the other team’s best offensive player on the perimeter and he’ll go anywhere in the pool to do it. He really likes the challenge. He’s really a heads-up player.”

Dylan Fogg, another sophomore, scored back-to-back goals to erase a 3-2 deficit in the second period and give Santa Barbara the lead for good.

Santa Barbara goalie Hunter Brownell rises out of the water to face a shot by Lorenzo Bertocco (17) of San Marcos. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara goalie Hunter Brownell rises out of the water to face a shot by Lorenzo Bertocco (17) of San Marcos. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

“For some reason, I really had a feeling our sophomores were going to play well today,” Walsh said. “We do have some really good seniors, but sometimes in these games (the opposing team) will leave your other players — your sophomore or your freshman — open. 

“I kind of had a feeling there might be an opportunity for our sophomores today and Chase Raisin had some goals, Dylan Fogg had some nice goals. I thought our sophomores  played really well for a big game.”

The win puts the Dons at 4-2 in league, one game behind Dos Pueblos and Ventura. Ventura beat  DP 9-8 in four overtimes on Thursday. San Marcos fell to 1-5 in Channel League.

Raisin got the ball inside during the first minute of the third period and beat San Marcos goalie Jack Phreaner to put the Dons ahead 5-3. Castillo followed with a counter-attack goal off a long pass from sophomore Julian Bacon.

Santa Barbara sophomore goalie Hunter Brownell then showed his stuff, denying the Royals on a power player with 1:47 left in the third.

“He’s been great in these Channel League matches,” said Walsh of Brownell.

Seniors Blix and Castillo combined to increase the Santa Barbara lead to 7-3 at 4:46 of the fourth period. Blix broke away from his defender and Castillo fed him a perfect crossing pass for the goal.

Brownell blocked another San Marcos shot and Raisin followed with his third goal on a lob shot  inside the far post.

San Marcos ended its scoring drought with goals from Lorenzo Bertocco and Fuller.

“It’s kind of been the season,” San Marcos coach Jeff Ashton said of the team’s low production.  “We’ve struggled offensively. I thought defensively the first half was good. I think we’re not getting the ball in the center enough. Either our center is not getting position or, when they do have position, the other guys are looking for something else first. That’s been killing us all year.

Adam Coffin of Santa Barbara (5) tries to knock the ball away from Trevor Ricci of San Marcos. Click to view larger
Adam Coffin of Santa Barbara (5) tries to knock the ball away from Trevor Ricci of San Marcos. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

“Walsh does a good job of taking away the things we want to do,” he added. “Offensively, we were never really able to adjust. It gets to be a grind after you’re swimming, swimming, swimming, working hard on offense and nothing is coming. Then it’s hard to continue the defense. Once you have one or two lapses, it’s hard to keep that up.”

Raisin got Santa Barbara back on track by drawing a major foul for a penalty shot. Castillo converted for a 9-5 lead with 2:54 left. 

Raisin drew five San Marcos ejections in the game.

Brownell recorded his seventh block of the game and Bacon scored off a RJ Goligoski assist for the Dons’ 10th goal.

Bertocco tallied his second goal with 34 seconds left.

Raisin said the Dons cleaned up their offense after a sloppy first quarter.

“I thought that was all because of the passes,” he said. “In the first half, our passing was awful and in the second half everyone stepped up and made good passes.”

Walsh agreed.

“Our passing was bad,” he said. “We turned the ball over a lot in that first quarter, and our 6 on 5 continues to be a thing we’re struggling with. We’re trying different things, but we haven’t found the perfect thing yet. We’ll keep working on it.

“But the guys made some big shots in the second half.”

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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