Skyline’s varsity water polo team finished league play on Thursday, September 28, with a decisive win against Ann Arbor Pioneer.
The 12-5 victory boosts the team’s into top position for post-season play and shows how well the team is performing across the roster.
“It’s exciting going into districts as the number-one seed,” Coach Reb Godek said after the game. ‘It gives us a little bit of confidence, but we know it’s more of a reason to work that much harder every day at practice.”
Godek’s strategy for the rest of the season is to fine-tune the set-up offense, since the level of play will mean counter-attack goals won’t be as common in the post-season.
She also noted that the team is developing their skills as a group.
“We’re seeing a lot of guys able to step up and hold their own. … It’s exciting to see that growth,” she said.
Thursday night’s victory started with an early goal by Shane MacNeil, who scored after taking a pass from Matteo Procoppe. Goalie Mason Hickman kept the momentum by blocking a 5-meter shot, then Matteo scored two more goals. With an additional two goals by Wilson Noll – including one on a long half-pool pass that snuck into the net – the team was up 5-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Additional goals came from Matteo (2) in the second quarter. Spencer Jyawook scored on a pass from Patrick Dempsey, then Liam Keating scored on a five-meter shot – and did it again a short time later. Two more goals by Wilson in the fourth brought the score up to 12-5 by the final buzzer.
Next for the Eagles: A rematch with Pioneer at home on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Both Varsity and JV will play.
That’s followed by a two-day home varsity tournament featuring many top state and out-of-state teams. Tournament play starts Friday, Oct. 6, with two games for the Eagles at 5:10 (v St. Charles of Columbus, Ohio) and 7:40 (v Chelsea Piers of Connecticut). Saturday’s games are at 3 p.m. against Rockford, the number-one ranked team in the state, then at 5:30 p.m. against Greenwich (Connecticut) A.