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Water Polo

Jacob Castillo, Hunter Brownell Lead Santa Barbara Past San Marcos, 9-4

Dons score nine unanswered goals in Channel League water polo rivalry game

Jacob Castillo (3) of Santa Barbara holds off San Marcos defender Kellen Radtkey as he looks to shoot. Click to view larger
Jacob Castillo (3) of Santa Barbara holds off San Marcos defender Kellen Radtkey as he looks to shoot. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara High took advantage of the off-target shooting by San Marcos and the ejection of a key Royals’ player for a 9-4 Channel League boys water polo win on Tuesday at the San Marcos pool.

After being down 1-0 after the first quarter, the Dons scored the next nine goals from the second through fourth periods. Senior lefty Jacob Castillo led the way with four goals and Dylan Fogg and Chase Raisin each had two.

Santa Barbara also got a solid performance from sophomore goalie Hunter Brownell, who made seven saves. He was aided by the goal frame, as the Royals banged five shots off the posts and crossbar in the opening period and 12 total for the game. 

“We did not shoot the ball well and we were thin as it is,” San Marcos coach Geoff Ashton said of the Royals’ shooting woes and the loss of Sam Fuller, who fouled out with 4:38 left in the second period after two ejections and a foul that led to a penalty shot.

“Sam is a big part of our team,” Ashton said. “Losing him, it’s morally defeating because the other guys know how much we rely on him. The other team knows, so they get that burst of excitement.”

Santa Barbara went on a five-goal burst in the second period, with Castillo accounting for three goals, including one on the 5-meter penalty shot that eliminated Fuller.

“That really hurt them,” Santa Barbara coach Mark Walsh said of Fuller’s ejection. “I don’t think we win that game by whatever it was if he plays the whole game.”

Chase Raisin scored inside and Castillo skipped one past goalie Jack Phreaner for a 7-1 lead in the third period. Fogg then added coup de grace by scoring on a lob shot from mid-pool at the buzzer.

San Marcos had a lob shot go off the post in the fourth period.

Santa Barbara goalie Hunter Brownell reaches to block a shot attempt by Trevor Ricci of San Marcos. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara goalie Hunter Brownell reaches to block a shot attempt by Trevor Ricci of San Marcos.  (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Walsh was surprised his team won by five goals.

“I kind of predicted no one would win by four goals in our league,” Walsh said. “I thought the top four teams (Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Ventura and Dos Pueblos) were within a couple of goals. Nobody would win by four goals, but I wasn’t taking into account them losing one of their best players early in the game.”

Said Castillo: “Sam Fuller got into early foul trouble and that changed the momentum of the game. But we got some really good goals, really good steals and we created a lot of offense. A lot of young players stepped up, which was really good,.”

Brownell was a big reason the Dons were able to contain San Marcos. 

“I thought he kept us in it,” Walsh said. “They had a lot of good shots early, and we could have been down 5-0 in that first quarter. (Brownell) had good saves and they hit the post.
I said to him: ‘You kept us in the game until we got our offense going.

“Especially being a sophomore in his first rivalry game, he did well. I’m really happy.”

Kellen Radtkey scored two goals to lead the San Marcos scoring.

Ashton felt the final score didn’t reflect how his team played. 

“Today wasn’t our day,” he said.

On the missed chances off the posts, Ashton said, “That’s part of the game. They were making shots and we weren’t. Without Sammy, too, everybody has got to do a little bit more.”

San Marcos falls to 1-2 in Channel League and 3-7 overall. Santa Barbara is 2-0 and 6-7.

The Dons play at Dos Pueblos on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., while San Marcos heads to the Villa Park Tournament.

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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