By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
The Pasadena Poly water polo team learned about patience in its overtime victory over Palm Springs in the CIF-Southern Section Division5 quarterfinals.
That was a good thing because the Panthers will need a lot of patience and a big defensive effort in their semifinal game today. Third-seeded Poly will face Hoover at 6 p.m. at Mt. SAC, with the winner facing either top seed Bonita or fourth seed La Serna on Saturday in Irvine.
“That (win) did help in the sense that it built confidence in working together as a team,” Poly coach Ryan Katsuyama said.
The Panthers’ defense will need that confidence in trying to stop Hoover’s Hakop Kaplanyan. The senior holds the CIF-SS record for most goals scored in one season.
“We can’t stop him, but we can try to contain him,” Katsuyama said. “That is our best chance to win the game. He is capable of scoring from any place, so if our defense falls apart, we’ll be in trouble.”
Poly goalkeeper Colin Woolway has 63 saves this season. The most goals he has given up in one game has been 12, in a Prep League loss to Webb. He held Hoover and Kaplanyan to eight goals in the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs last year.
The Panthers, 25-2, are playing a Pacific League team for the second consecutive year in the semifinals. They beat Crescenta Valley last season en route to their first CIF-SS championship game appearance.
The Tornadoes, 17-6, knocked off No. 2 seed Palm Desert in the quarterfinals on Saturday. They finished second in league to Glendale, which fell to La Serna in the quarterfinals. Bonita will play La Serna immediately after the Poly-Hoover game at Mt. SAC.
La Canada vs. Laguna Beach at Irvine High, 3:30 p.m.
The fourth-seeded Spartans will play the Breakers for the second time this season in a Division 3 matchup. Earlier this season, Laguna Beach scored a 14-13 overtime victory.
Junior Alden Geller and senior Trevor Rozskos led the Spartans, 22-6, to a 9-7 quarterfinal win over Aliso Niguel at Pasadena City College on Saturday. Laguna Beach is 20-5.
The winner will play the Palos Verdes-Damien winner on Saturday.