By Ted Apodaca
The last time the Pacifica High boys water polo team reached the playoffs, most of the current players weren’t even born. So far the Mariners have made the most of their return as they advanced to the Division 7 semifinals with a 7-6 win over California High on Saturday at California High.
Pacifica earned a bye in the first round, before opening the tournament with a 13-1 win over La Sierra last week at Ocean View High. Bradley Clinton had four goals to lead the Mariner offense against La Sierra. Christopher Sotelo had three goals and Spencer Clinton added two goals for Pacifica.
Pacifica scored first, but La Sierra tied the match at 1-1 with a goal with 3:57 left in the first quarter. Bradley Clinton scored to push the lead to 2-1 by the end of the first quarter. Coaches said the players had some nerves in the early part of the game, since none had ever been to the playoffs. After the first quarter they were able to settle in to the match.
The Mariners also found their defensive flow. The defenders disrupted La Sierra’s offense the rest of the game and goal keeper Nathaniel Wolsky had 13 saves, including six in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Thomas, Justin Krause, Ethan Ross and Jacob Leslie each had a goal for the Mariners. The Mariners will play Temecula Valley at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, at Ocean View High. A win would put the Mariners into the championship match on Saturday. Pacifica won the Empire League this season with a 5-0 record and were 21-4 overall.
“They stuck with the plan, we had a plan and it worked the whole season,” Head Coach Eduardo Osorio said.