September 22, 2001
By Dave Orr, Bishop’s Water Polo Beat Writer
The Bishop’s water polo team officially kicked-off its 2001 season playing in the South Coast Water Polo Tournament in Newport, CA. This was the first time that the Knights had entered this tournament but they were seeded second to the Orange County powerhouse, Corona del Mar (CDM) in a 32 team tournament. The seeding proved to be true as both teams advanced to the Gold Medal Game.
The Knight’s advanced after beating the defending tournament champion, San Clemente, by a score of 7-3 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Bishop’s routed El Toro by a score of 12-6. In that game Reid Joseph and Chris Pulido each scored 3 goals along with goals from Andy Orr (2), Trevor Long, Brian Hodgens, Tyler Kandel, and Julian Arthur.
The Gold Medal match was a closely contested game but in the end Corona del Mar prevailed 8-6. The turning point may have been at the end of the 3rd quarter when Chris Pulido injured his left thumb and had to leave the game with CDM up 5-4. Within the first minute of the 4th quarter, CDM scored two more goals and in probably the most controversial call of the game, Bishop’s Trevor Long was majored out of the game. Two starters down, the Knights never gave up. Andy Orr’s 3rd goal of the game made the score 7-6 with 1:05 to go. With just 8 seconds left in the game and unable to get possession of the ball, Bishop’s intentionally drew a 4-meter foul. The hope was that the outstanding Bishop’s goalie, Justin McCain, could block the shot and give Bishop’s one last chance to tie the game. It was an exciting turn of events when everybody in the stands was trying to figure out why Brian Hodgens dove into the pool to draw the penalty for too many players in the pool. The last chance did not work as CDM converted the penalty shot and won the game 8-6.
Of course the team was disappointed that they had to settle for the Silver. Despite the near miss, this year’s team showed us that they would only continue to get better and provide the fans with plenty of goals and excitement for the season to come. Next week the Knights will play in another Orange County Tournament at Villa Park.
GO GET ‘EM KNIGHTS!