David Svendsen’s heart may not be able to take many more overtime games.
The Atwater boys water polo coach glanced down at his Apple Watch during Wednesday’s game against El Capitan and saw his heart rate was at 170. Svendsen and the Falcons survived a 13-11 victory in overtime over the Gauchos to improve to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the Central California Conference.
“These overtime games are supposed to come later in the season,” Svendsen joked.
Connor Norton led Atwater with six goals. The Falcons senior sent the game into overtime when he tied the game with his at 11-11 with hsi fifth goal, which came with 11 seconds left in regulation. Atwater drew an ejection away from the ball and Norton fired a shot from outside 5 meters for the equalizer.
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Norton and Matt Rogers each scored in overtime for the Falcons and the Atwater defense held El Capitan scoreless in the two 3-minute overtime periods.
Luke van Warmerdam added three goals for Atwater.
“It was a back and forth game,” Svendsen said. “(El Capitan) came out and played with a lot of intensity. They tried to take away Connor and Luke, which is what most teams try to do against us. They did well for a long time.”
Norton was able to hurt the Gauchos in transition early in the game, scoring four of his goals in the first half. The Gauchos then dropped heavily on Norton to try to take him out of the offense.
“They did a good job of frustrating us,” Svendsen said. “They made us do things we’re not used to doing. Fortunately, we were able to get the game to overtime and regroup.”
Jacob Conley led El Capitan with three goals. Garrett Thomas chipped in with two goals and four assists.
Buhach Colony 14, Merced 6 in Atwater – Joe Bustabade scored five goals and assisted on three others as the Thunder (2-0 CCC) cruised past the Bears (0-1). Zach Fookes added three goals, four assists and three steals for BC. Nick Eckles and Hayden Giebeler both scored two goals for Merced.
Girls Water Polo
Buhach Colony 14, Merced 4 in Atwater – Erin McBride scored seven goals and Pam Solano pitched in with three goals, seven assists and 10 steals as the Thunder (2-0) routed Merced (0-1).
Pitman 12, Golden Valley 6 in Merced – Grace Mello led the Cougars (0-2 CCC) with three goals and six steals. Savannah Costa saved four shots in goal for GV.
Le Grand 3, Ripon Christian 1 in Le Grand – Longtime Bulldogs coach Gia Pridell had never beaten Ripon Christian until Wednesday night. Pridell’s first win didn’t come easy as Le Grand outlasted the Knights 24-26, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19. Joanna Chavez recorded nine kills. Alexa Aguayo recorded 30 digs.
Stone Ridge Christian 3, Merced 0 in Merced – Laura Hooker racked up 23 digs and Morgan McCary added nine kills as the Knights swept the Bears 25-17, 25-20, 25-14.