Trevor Ricci
Trevor Ricci of San Marcos lofts a shot over a Garces defender during season-opening water polo match at the Royals’ pool. Ricci led the team with three goals. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

The story of the first game for Peera Sukavivatanachai’s San Marcos boys water polo team was about making adjustments. 

The Royals had to adjust to playing without their regular two-meter man and get used to the aggressive style of play from defending CIF Central Section Division 2 champion Garces in the season opener for both teams at the San Marcos pool.

San Marcos fought back from a six-goal deficit with a strong fourth quarter but couldn’t catch Garces and lost, 10-7, in Sukavivatanachai’s debut as coach.

“It took a little bit of adjusting for sure,” he said of the game. “We weren’t ready for the physicality of the other team. Once we adjusted it was too late and we were playing catch-up the whole time.

Led by the inside play of a powerful Klang, Garces bolted out to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter. 

Trevor Ricci scored the first goal of the season for San Marcos.

Danny Goldberg made it 4-2 in the second period before Garces tacked on two more goals and its goalie, Ostin Woodfin, blocked a penalty shot. 

The visitors from Bakersfield scored the first goal of the third period to make it 7-2 before Ricci delivered on a power play for the Royals. Back-to-back goals from Klang raised the Garces lead to 9-3.

San Marcos played its best water polo in the fourth period. It moved the ball quicker, drew some ejections and got some good looks at goal. Eric Voulgaris and Kellen Radtkey scored on back-to-back power plays, and the Royals fired two more shots on goal that were saved by Woodfin, the goalie on last year’s section championship team.

Radtkey beat Woodfin on a beautiful lob shot to make it 9-6 with 3:12 left.

Kellen Radtkey with a sweet lob shot for San Marcos in the boys water polo season opener against Garces of Bakersfield. The Royals came up short, 10-7

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Ricci had a good look at cutting the deficit to two goals, but Woodfin came up big with a little more than two minutes left.

Garces came back and George Rice scored his third goal of the game for a 10-6 lead.

Ricci fought off a defender and scored from outside to complete the scoring. He led the Royals with three goals.

Sukavivatanachai was pleased how his team stepped up in the fourth quarter

“I’m pretty confident of where we are now, especially since we’re missing our primary two-meter player,” he said.  “That kind changed our offense a little bit, too. It took a little bit of adjusting.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.