Skyline’s Eagles scored a big win on Friday, November 10, during their first game in the 2017 Michigan Water Polo Association state championships.
The team took to the water in the last game for the first round, held at Ann Arbor Huron High School’s Ratatorium.They played a tough Grand Haven team, which came into the round ranked fourth in the state.
Now, following the 16-9 win, the Eagles head into a semi-final game against arch-rival Rockford. The teams will battle for a place in the championship game starting at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, November 11.
In Friday night’s game, two five-goal periods before the first half set up the Eagles for the win. Sharp defense from goalie Mason Hickman and his defenders kept the pressing Grand Haven team at bay.
Senior co-captain Wilson Noll nailed the first at just 21 seconds into the game, moments after he won the sprint.
Next up was senior co-captain Matteo Procoppe, followed by one by Josh Smith. Matteo got a second, then freshman Ethan Procoppe scored one right at the buzzer, as the period ended at 5-3 Skyline.
The second period ended at 10-3, following goals by Matteo (2), Wilson (2) and Josh.
Grand Haven gained some momentum in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals. About halfway through, Matteo ended up in front of the net and scored on a Grand Haven exclusion, and Ethan scored again about a minute later on a rebound from a shot by Keegan Gardner. Both teams scored again with less than a minute to go, ending the third at 13-7.
Grand Haven pushed for two more goals in the fourth, but Skyline scored three – keeping their lead. Goals came from Matteo (2) and Nick Pachera, who popped on in with 49 seconds until the buzzer.