Fighting Irish too stout for Mariners

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Pacifica High's water polo team went down early and never found its way back in its 18-7 league loss to Kennedy High last week at Garden Grove High.

The Fighting Irish went on a 5-0 run to start off the first quarter before the Mariners fired back with a goal of their own.

Pacifica’s biggest challenge in the match was stopping Kennedy’s offensive arsenal bolstered by its big center man Zachary Minott.

Pacifica High's water polo team went down early and never found its way back in its 18-7 league loss to Kennedy High last week at Garden Grove High.

The Fighting Irish went on a 5-0 run to start off the first quarter before the Mariners fired back with a goal of their own.

Pacifica’s biggest challenge in the match was stopping Kennedy’s offensive arsenal bolstered by its big center man Zachary Minott.

“[Minott], a senior who led Orange County in goals and goals per game in 2013,” said Kennedy’s coach Eric Pierce about his pivotal player.

Minott made quick work of Pacifica’s best players and assisted in the build-up play for the first four goals of the game as well as scoring six of his own throughout the match.

The Mariners’ Nico Levert had a tough time guarding Minott throughout the game as he was ejected multiple times due to fouling the 6-foot-3, 235 pound two-meter man.

Despite being frustrated by the onslaught of goals that saw Kennedy up 10-3 after two quarters, the Mariners did have their chances in front of goal.

About four early shots from Pacifica bounced off Kennedy’s goalpost, denying the Mariners crucial chances to scratch a few goals back in the first and second quarters.

Pacifica’s Nick Ross led the charge in the final two quarters of the match as he skipped a shot in to start off the third period.

Ross attempted to ignite some momentum with his goal as he looked the most fired up out of a sluggish Pacifica side. Ross led the team chants in the latter moments of the match, which looked to have helped his side but Kennedy always found a way to keep the Mariners at bay.

The early rush of goals helped out a lot with that.

As Pacifica picked up the pace a bit in the third period, Kennedy matched the Mariners goal for goal diffusing any plan for a comeback.

The abundance of goals did not end for Irish as they scored five goals in the final period of the match.

The biggest advantage that Kennedy had over Pacifica in the match was not only its strong two-meter man, but also its variety of goal scorers.

Every player in the pool for Kennedy found the back of the net at least once against Pacifica, which made the defending duties for the Mariners that more difficult.

As goals came flying in from any direction, Pacifica’s defense scrambled to contest their opponents. Kennedy’s well organized offense wore the Mariners’ energy thin, which led to their strong five goal finish to match.

For the Mariners it is back to the drawing board ahead of this week’s Central OC tournament, which is being held at Garden Grove High School. The Mariners play their next league match-up on Oct. 23 against Tustin High.

Kennedy faces Western on Oct. 23 at 3:15 at Western’s pool. The Irish will be looking to add to their undefeated league streak that they kicked off against the Mariners.