October 30, 2001

By Dave Orr, Bishop’s Water Polo Beat Writer

In a game that was probably a preview of the CIF Division II Championships, Bishop’s beat Coronado at the Coronado Municipal Pool 8-7.  The Coronado crowd noise level was deafening but the Knights were determined and the roar of the crowd seemed to focus the team on their mission: Beat Coronado! 

There was another story line going into the game.  Bishop’s currently holds the San Diego CIF section record for consecutive water polo victories with 47.  Coronado started the day with 45 consecutive victories and a win today meant smooth sailing to break the record.  However, today belonged to the Bishop’s Knights!

As you would suspect, it was a tight game until the end.  Coronado drew first blood but Chris Pulido and Trevor Long followed with two goals that put the Knights in the lead 2-1.  The next two goals went to Coronado and put the home team back in the lead 3-2.  Then Andy Orr drew a 4-meter penalty shot and Brian Hodgens scored the goal.  The score was tied again.  With one minute left to play in the quarter, Tyler Kandel scored the first of his three goals. But just before the quarter ended, Coronado tied the game one more time.  The 1st quarter ended with the game deadlocked 4-4.

Defense was the name of the game in the 2nd quarter.  Finally Coronado scored a goal with 1:52 left in the quarter but Tyler Kandel answered 15 seconds later with his second goal and the game remained tied.  Then in the first big turn of events, Tyler drew his second ejection of the game and just seconds later Andy Orr was also ejected.  With Coronado playing 6 on 4, Justin McCain made the save of the game and the quarter ended with the score tied 5-5.

Anybody who watches Bishop’s/Coronado water polo knows that the 3rd quarter has been the achilles heel for the Knights.  Today was a different story.  Just like the 2nd quarter, defense was the main theme but with 2:19 left in the quarter, Coronado was called for an ejection and Dylan Matzinger scored on the 6 on 5 opportunity.  With 1;32 left in the quarter Reid Joseph scored another goal and suddenly the Knights were up 7-5.  In retrospect, the end of the 3rd quarter probably foretold that today would not be Coronado’s day.  Andy Orr’s goal with seconds left in the quarter was called a 2-meter violation and disallowed.  A quick follow-up shot by Coronado’s Gant Morgner rocketed into the Knights goal but the whistle had blown ending the quarter…..No Goal!  In the roar of the crowd, there was some confusion as one referee was signaling no Coronado goal and the other referee was ejecting Andy Orr for arguing the 2-meter call.  Many of the Coronado fans thought the referee was signaling a Coronado goal.  When the dust settled the score remained Bishop’s 7 and Coronado 5.

The 4th quarter saw the Bishop’s crowd smelling victory for the first time in three years.  Then we saw the signature play of the game.  Tyler Kandel in isolation at set with Thomas Hopkins on his back, slow spins, changes hands with the ball under water and flips the ball into the goal as the goalie attacks.  His third goal of the game put the Knights up 8-5 with 4:28 left to play.  A Coronado goal on a 6 on 5 with 2:52 left to play made the score 8-6.  After a Coronado timeout at 45 seconds, Thomas Hopkins scored a final goal and the Knights held on to win the game 8-7.  Justin McCain played a brilliant game in goal and had 20 saves.

The Knights finish their season against Scripps and Bonita Vista on Wednesday and Thursday.  On Friday the Knights have a special engagement.  They are tentatively scheduled to play Coronado again to determine CIF tournament seeding.  The CIF Tournament starts on November 10.