San Clemente’s young but talented boys water polo team reached a milestone in its development Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Sophomore Christian Hosea scored the go-ahead goal on a backhanded shot from center with 1:24 left in the fourth period and sophomore goalie Trevor Benge blocked a shot from 2 meters on the ensuing possession to help lift the visiting Tritons to a 9-8 victory against No. 9 Aliso Niguel.
San Clemente (16-9, 4-1) lost in sudden-death overtime to Aliso Niguel (20-2, 5-1) in the first round of the South Coast League, but moved into a tie for first place Tuesday with its victory at Aliso Niguel.
“They’ve been through fire,” San Clemente coach Logan Powell said of his team, which starts three sophomores and four juniors. “Even though they’re young, we’ve had a lot of really challenging games. … They played with a lot of poise today, which I said was going to be big for them.”
Hosea scored the first goal of the fourth, tossing in a lob off a direct shot. He finished with a game-high five goals. Junior left-hander Ty Matson added three goals while junior Alex Lunt had one.
The score was tied seven times, including at 8 after a sweep shot by Skylar Lee with 3:48 left in the fourth. Lee and Brendan Nugent each finished with two goals while Jack Moorehead netted three.
“We didn’t want to lose this game, but we’re still in first place and still have a lot to play for,” said Aliso Niguel coach Jon Puffer, whose team is seeking its first league title.
In a nonleague game:
No. 5 Santa Margarita 9, No. 3 Huntington Beach 7: Noah Hodge made 13 saves to help the visiting Eagles upset the Oilers.
In the Crestview League:
Villa Park 15, Esperanza 5: Bradley Wilson had a season-high six goals and…