Jackson Hamilton scored with 56 seconds left in the second overtime period to give San Marcos an exciting 11-10 season-opening water polo victory over Arroyo Grande on Thursday at the San Marcos pool.
Goalkeeper Ben Webber saved a shot by Ethan Blum of the Eagles to preserve the come-from-behind win. The Royals trailed 7-5 at the end of three periods, 9-8 with 1:57 left in the fourth and 10-9 with 49 seconds to go in the first overtime period.
“It’s definitely a good confidence booster, especially as we head into this weekend with a tournament in Long Beach,” said San Marcos coach Peera Sukavivatanachai.
Hamilton led the Royals with four goals, while Liam McCarthy, Caden Heinze and Daniel Goldberg each tallied two goals and Friselll added one.
Blum, Shane Hoover and Malakai Mallett each had two goals for Arroyo Grande.
Scoring contributions from several players is how San Marcos plans to roll this season.
“We graduated four starters. Those are some big shoes for them to fill,” Sukavivatanachai said. “They’re seeing the situations. They’re obviously aware of it. It’s just taken a little time for them to reach it.”
He was happy to see everyone get involved in the attack.
“It’s a lot more involvement. Everyone is a little bit more involved on offense this year as compared to last year,” he said.” It’s coming from all fronts. It’s kind of interesting to see how it’s all coming together for us.”
After scoring just one goal in the second period to tie the score at 3-3, the Royals picked up the pace in the second half. They put pressure on Arroyo Grande goalkeeper Joe Sabo and got goals from Heinze on a power play and a lob shot from McCarthy.
San Marcos trailed 7-5 going into the fourth period, The Royals caught fire and got two goals from Goldberg and one each from McCarthy and Hamilton to tie the score at 9-9. Hamilton stole the ball and fed Goldberg for the tying goal with 44 seconds left in regulation.
San Marcos had a go-ahead goal nullified by an offensive foul.
In the first three-minute overtime period, Hoover beat Webber to put the Eagles ahead 10-9.
The Royals answered on a nice individual play by Frisell. He split two defenders and lobbed into the far corner to equalize with 28 seconds to go.
The Royals’ defense, sparked by the play of McCarthy at the two-meter position, played tough, and Hamilton came through with the game-winning goal.
“It’s kind been like that all preseason long,” Sukavivatanachai said of his improved play in the second half. “We’re coming from behind, figuring things out and adjusting along the way. We are working with a pretty young group this year.”