November 18, 2001

By Dave Orr, Bishop’s Water Polo Beat Writer

I am still numb with disbelief.  The Union Tribune said there were over 1000 fans in the stands.  They were there to see probably the best high school game of the year.  It was a game that was as good as advertised; it was also a tremendous heartbreak for the Bishop’s Knights.  In the last minute, Coronado took their first lead of the game, Bishop’s Trevor Long tied the game 15 seconds later and everybody was expecting overtime.  Then Coronado’s Thomas Hopkins scored the game-winning goal with just 1.5 seconds left and beat the Knights 8-7.

The 1ST half belonged to the Knights.  Early on Andy Orr drew an ejection on Coronado and Chris Pulido scored the first goal of the game on a 6 on 5 with 5:56 remaining in the quarter.  Seconds later Coronado drew an ejection on the Knights but a great save by Justin McCain kept the Knights’ lead at 1-0 and set the first momentum swing of the game in favor of the Knights.  Two minutes later Andy Orr made a great steal and drew a 4-meter foul on Coronado.  Unfortunately this was the first of several opportunities where the Knights seemed to get a bad bounce of the ball.  They did not convert the 4-meter shot.  However, Tyler Kandel put the first of his 2 goals on the board and the Knights were up 2-0.  Then with just 20 seconds left in the quarter Thomas Hopkins scored his first goal of the game and the score was 2-1 Knights.

In the 2 ND quarter Julian Arthur stepped up for the Knights.  With 6:41 left in the quarter, Julian’s first score of the game electrified the crowd.  After Coronado answered with a 6 on 5 score, Julian scored his second goal of the game with 3:28 left.  The rest of the quarter was a blur.  Coronado’s Thomas Hopkins scored his second goal of the game on a 6 on 5 penalty and just 17 seconds later the Knights failed to convert on a 6 on 5 against Coronado.  Not-to-worry, Reid Joseph rocketed a score with 33 seconds left and the halftime score was 5-3 in favor of the Knights.

As we all know the 3RD quarter is often the key to winning a big game.  Both teams played fiercely and finally with 3:43 left, Coronado was able to work a back door goal to make the score 5-4.  After that score the quarter turned on two 6 on 5 situations.  The first penalty went against Coronado but the Knights did not convert the goal opportunity.  All night the team was executing the plays but the bounces were just not going the Knights’ way.  The next penalty went against Bishop’s and the Islanders converted tying the score at 5-5 with 2 minutes left.  That is how the quarter ended.

Tyler Kandel jump started the 4TH quarter with his second goal that put the Knights back in the lead 6-5 with 6:17 left to play.  Two minutes later on a 6 on 5 play, Thomas Hopkins scored his third goal that tied the game 6-6.  The last few minutes could not have been more exciting for the fans and the players.  Suddenly with just 57 seconds left in the game, Coronado scored and took their first lead 7-6.  The Knights never lost their cool and 15 seconds later Trevor Long used his famous lob to tie the game at 7-7.  With the game winding down, a controversial 2-meter violation call against the Knights gave the Coronado goalie a last second opportunity to pass the ball down the left wing to Thomas Hopkins with 8.5 seconds left.  Thomas put up a 9-meter backspin lob that found the net for his fourth goal that won the game 8-7 with only 1.5 seconds left to play.

It was a tough pill to swallow but I for one know that I speak for the fans and parents when I say that everybody has nothing but respect for how well the Bishop’s Knights played the game.  Every game has missed opportunities but the Knights were fabulous and played large in a big game.  I have had a great time being the Beat Reporter for the Knights and I am going remember a great team, a tremendous season, and lifetime friends.  Best wishes to all of the players as the seniors prepare for college and the rest of the team prepares for the CIF Championship next year!