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Eccles calms waters for Merced

Steve Eccles wasted little time.

Just as Case Vyfhuizen's goal hit the net to pull Golden Valley within one goal early in the fourth quarter, Eccles signalled for a timeout.

The Merced coach gathered his young team in the corner and calmed them down.

Eccles' boys then went out and quickly put the game away with two quick goals as Merced defeated GV 7-5 Friday night at Merced College.

"We're not that experienced," said Eccles, whose team improved to 4-2 in the Central California Conference.

"Except for that little spurt in the fourth quarter, we played some real water polo tonight."


Matt Rabe turned in another solid all-around game with two goals, two assists and three steals and Alex Alvira found the net three times.

However, it was the clutch fourth-quarter goals by Clint Newman and Trey Dutcher that put the game away.

"Merced did a great job of controlling the ball," said GV coach Andy Seto, whose team dropped to 1-4 in the CCC.

"They pulled the ball back on us a little. Just when we started to get a little momentum, Steve did a great job of calming his kids down."

Vyfhuizen and Taylor Rocha each scored a pair of goals for GV.

"It's nice to have a team like this," Eccles said. "People come up to me and they tell me I must be dead when November comes around.

"Some years I am. No way with this team."