Revenge is sweet. Just ask the Mira Costa water polo team.
The Mustangs had lost their last three matches against Agoura, including a defeat that knocked Mira Costa out of the playoffs in 2017.
But senior Troy Gleason and sophomore Jake Carter were determined not to let history repeat itself, as they combined for six goals to help Mira Costa earn a 10-6 victory over the Chargers in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs Wednesday.
Mira Costa (20-6) and Agoura (20-11) were in a tight match in the first half, with each team scoring two goals in the first 13:30 of the half, with Hudson Carter (Jake’s older brother) scoring the two goals for the Mustangs. Just before halftime, Gleason found the back of the net to give Mira Costa a 3-2 lead at halftime.
“They beat us last year in the quarterfinals and then again a week ago, so it was good to come out here today and win as a team,”said Gleason, who had two goals and two assists. “Last time I think we went into the match too calm and collected, whereas this one we got fired up. We knew this could be our last game of the season, so we really wanted it and we were ready to fight for it.”
In the second half, Mira Costa continued to put pressure on Agoura as Gleason scored his second goalonly 23 seconds in to push the Mustangs’ lead to two. Then Carter got into the act, scoring his first goal of the match 28 seconds later to make it 5-2 Mira Costa.
But Cater didn’t stop there, as he scored twice more in the third period to give the Mustangs a 7-3 lead going into the fourth period.
Ryder Theodore pushed the Mustangs’ lead to five, 8-3, 45 seconds into the fourth quarter. Carter then scored his fourth goal of the match, a floating a shot over the goalie’s head, for a 9-3 lead.
Agoura scored three goals in the final 2.45 to cut the Mustangs’ lead to 9-6, but it was too little, too late. Carter capped the scoring with a goal with 12 seconds to play.
“They just left me open because they were helping out on some of my teammates, and luckily I came out and made my shots,” Carter said. “It’s good because last year they got us out in CIF (playoffs), so it was good to get them out of the way.”
Mira Costa will face Redlands East Valley at home Saturday morning.
“Atmosphere was the difference, last week the match didn’t mean much it was just a warm-up,” said Mira Costa coach Jon Reichardt about last week’s 13-12 overtime loss to Agoura. “But this was the playoffs, that was the difference right there.
“Troy (Gleason) went down and stuffed it in there right before the hal,f and that was big for us. Jake scored some big goals for us in the second half because he stayed calm and didn’t panic. All the guys played well in the second half for us.”