By Ayden Vasquez
The Riverside City College men’s water polo hosted its program’s very first alumni game. The team went on to defeat its very own alumni 20-15 at the Riverside Aquatics Complex (RAC).
Although it was only a friendly match, it was still a hard-fought back-and-forth game. Both teams possessed a solid defense, had great playmaking and an even greater scoring ability.
The alumni team had total control over the current roster for majority of the match. Going into the third quarter, the current roster’s team was outscored by the alumni 12-9 with seven of those 12 goals coming from alumni center Christopher Forte.
“I felt pretty good in the water today. I’ve been training non-stop so I’m glad I’m able to come out here and show these young guys what I can do,” Forte said.
Halfway through the third quarter, RCC changed the momentum and gained the lead after a skip shot past the goalie from sophomore driver Nicholas Sadowski.
“That shot is something I plan on perfecting,” Sadowski said. “I want to utilize it in more games throughout the season.”
Following Sadowki’s goal, the current roster went on to score a total of 11 unanswered goals of their own in the fourth quarter.
With the help of substitutions made by the men’s water polo head coach Jason Northcott, the alumni squad could not seem to catch a break only scoring three goals in return.
While their scoring ability was slowing down, the alumni squad was still playing a very physical game. Their agility in the water allowed them to switch from a physical offense to a physical defense.
This strong and physical style of play demonstrated by the alumni showed the flaws in the Tigers’ defense.
“They posed a challenge for us early on today defense-wise. So I feel that today is a good learning opportunity,” Northcott said.
The speed of the Tigers this season looks to be the most vital aspect of their game. Although they do need to work on a few things, the alumni believe that success for this team is soon to come.
“They look promising,” Forte said. “They have a little bit of work to do when it comes to communication and teamwork but I believe that will come with time.”
Overall, it was a high-scoring and eventful game that will only help propel the team forward throughout the rest of the season.
“We are early in the season so we have big improvements everywhere,” the head coach said. “Every day in practice those flaws are eliminated and today is no exception.”
With many in attendance, the support of the alumni and the dedication of the men’s water polo program showcasing its rich history, this event was an all-around success.
“The goal of today was to show our guys that the alumni are here to mentor them. To let them know that if they put trust in this program, compete with discipline, and commit to the team they will succeed in not just water polo but in life as well,” Northcott said.
As they prepare to face Golden West at the RAC on Sept. 13. The Tigers currently sit at a 2-1 record on the season.