With the season just starting, the Sharks went to the Zack Hahn Tournament at Calabasas High School with only one thing in mind: To “take home the gold”… and they did just that.
After defeating Rio Mesa and Culver City in the first and second rounds last Thursday, the boys went back to the Shark Tank on Friday and practiced very hard.
Saturday they found themselves in the semi final game against the home team, Calabasas.
There is a big rivalry between these two teams, so the stage was set for who would make it to the Final Championship Game-the Calabasas Coyotes or the Malibu Sharks?
In the first quarter of play it was all about defense until, with one minute left, Hayden Goldberg on a fast break found himself in front of the defense with just the Calabasas goalie between him and a score. A couple of pump fakes later and the score was 1 to 0. That ended the first quarter.
Coach Mike Mulligan told his team that if they would keep their focus and play “Shark” water polo, the victory would be theirs. They beat Calabasas convincingly. The championship game was set, Crespi vs. Malibu. Crespi beat Burbank, Westlake and Crescenta Valley to make it to the finals.
This was a well-played game on both sides. However, with the relentless defensive attack led by Nick Keitel (First Tournament Team) and a steady offense led by a determined scrappy Cody Shirk (Most Valuable Player of the Tournament), Mart Ochinananek in goal who blocked a 4-meter shot late in the game, and Hayden Goldberg who put the icing on the cake with less then 2 minutes to go, popping up in the middle and putting in a high comer shot, it was too much for Crespi to handle.
The threat of every Malibu player was evident throughout this game and the tournament, either from the hard shooting of Jerry Wolf Duff Sellers or the never-quit attitude of Colby Trivette, the speed of Steven Gary, lefty Parker Mitchell, secrete weapon, Joey Large, Kelly (the thief) Jacobson, the quickness of Eric Krammer, the aggressive play of Joe Mahon and the outstanding performance by Nick Rollings, who always had a smile on his face, this team came to play with talent, a positive attitude and class.
Every player contributed to this win. Everyone scored and made great defensive plays.
Malibu will be hosting a tournament on Sept. 25-27 at the high school pool. The community is invited to come out and support the Sharks. Their Web site can be viewed at www. Malibuwaterpolo.org.