MHS Boys’ Water Polo Takes Top in Oxnard Tourney

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Malibu boys water polo players celebrate in the Oxnard High School pool following their tournament win on Saturday, Oct. 13.

The Malibu High Sharks boys’ water polo team turned in one of its best performances of the season en route to winning a water polo tournament at Oxnard High School on Oct. 13.

The Sharks trailed Newbury Park by four points at halftime of one of the event’s semifinal matchups. But then, Malibu outscored Newbury Park, 8-2, in the second half to claim a 9-7 victory and a spot in the championship game. 

Malibu head coach Hayden Goldberg said his team showed a lot of heart. 

“They don’t want to give up,” he said. “They have the mentality that they can play with anybody. We played our style of water polo.” 

The Sharks grabbed the tournament’s title by beating Temple City, 8-6, in the championship match. 

Malibu opened the spectacle by beating the host team, Oxnard, 20-1. The group beat El Dorado, 8-7, in the second round. Then came a win over Newbury Park, a team Malibu had already played twice this season.

Goldberg said throughout the tournament a bevy of Sharks played well. He said Chris Jensen starred as goalkeeper.

“I really rely on my goalie a lot, and he had a fantastic tournament,” Goldberg said of Jensen, the first-year varsity player. “He really stopped a lot of shots that would be going in on a lot of other goalies. He is a very good goalie.” 

The coach said Harry Lang, Lewis Barron and Lars Peterson led the squad in scoring.

Malibu will play in the Steve Pal Memorial Tournament this weekend at Beckman High School in Irvine. 

Goldberg said the Sharks will take the pool against teams from bigger schools. He said the games against teams from CIF Division 1 and 2 will test Malibu’s resolve and allow them to see teams from their division, Division 3, which they could face in the CIF playoffs.

“I’m expecting top-notch water polo and learning from the other teams that are out there,” Goldberg predicted.

Malibu played Foothill Tech on Tuesday and Villanova Prep the next day. At press time, the team sat atop the Tri-Valley League standings. 

The Sharks regular season goes until the end of this month. If Malibu remains top in the Tri-Valley League, the playoffs will follow. Also, on Nov. 24, the Malibu’s boys and girls water polo teams will host their annual alumni game and Hall of Fame inductions. 

Goldberg said Malibu has a roster filled with talented players.

“They have a lot of things dialed in,” he said. “I’m impressed with the growth and development. Every single kid on the team has learned something new, shown something new or gotten better from last year. That is what it takes to be a successful program, to be a successful team.”