The Mira Costa boys’ water polo team defeated Redondo Union 7-4 in the first of two contests that will conclude the final week of Bay League play.
Mira Costa’s Denzel Tate scored the winning goal with 1:40 left in the third period, which was his second of the game.
Theodore Ryder, who had two goals in the game, and Jake Carter added fourth period goals for Mira Costa.
“We played fine, we could have played better,” Carter said. “We’re excited to play them (tomorrow) at their home.”
Mira Costa head coach Jon Reichardt was not as pleased. He felt his team was rusty.
“That was probably the worst game we played all year," said Reichardt. "Our heads weren’t in it.”
He added, “I am happy for them (the players) they pulled it off. I thought Redondo played pretty well. They took it after us.”
If Mira Costa can beat Redondo Union one more time in their second meeting at Redondo Union Thursday, it will claim a share of this year’s Bay League title with Palos Verdes. Since 2012, the Mustangs have won league every year.
They won league outright from 2012-2015. Since 2016 they have shared the league title with Palos Verdes.
Now they will see if they can duplicate last year’s season finish where they played in the Division 2 championship and lost.
They had only one player return from that starting group so this year they have had to regroup and recently have shown they can compete with some of the teams above them.
“My goalie, Bernardo Herzer, is playing well right now,” Reichardt said. “We don’t really have someone that scores more than two goals a game. Everyone contributes.”
Mira Costa improved to 17-10 overall and 4-1 in the Bay League.
Also scoring for Mira Costa was Paolo Riverin and Kai Scarlet.
Redondo Union dropped to 20-6 overall and 2-3 in the Bay League.
Scoring for Redondo Union was Brad Vogelsang with two, Ethan Igloi and Hayden Brown.
Bryan Weaver is a first-year head coach for Redondo Union. He likes how his team is playing.
“We will try to get them next time,” Weaver said. “I thought it was a winnable game. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.”
Mira Costa is ranked No. 15 in Division 1-2 while Redondo Union is ranked No. 3 in Division 3.
“We’ve had some significant victories,” Weaver said. “The games we have lost were against very tough opponents.”
“This year I think we can really win it,” said Redondo Union junior attacker Max Hendrickson.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period.
“We came out pretty strong with a 1-1 start,” Hendrickson said. “All of us had a lot of energy going into the game. We knew it was going to be closer than the past two years. We just came in energized.”
Mira Costa score three times in the second period to take control a bit up 4-2, but Redondo Union hung around until the end.
“We were close with them the whole game,” said Vogelsang, who is a junior attacker. “We could have come out better with our shots."