The Bearcats water polo team welcomed the Santa Ynez pirates to the Paso Robles Municipal pool on Thursday for their home opener. All sporting events not in a pool were canceled on Thursday due to the heat. The cancellations aimed to keep the athletes safe, as exercising in 100+ degree heat is unquestionably not safe. While the athletes were in the pool beating the heat, the parents and spectators clung to any piece of shade they could as beads of sweat ran down there face as if they were the ones competing.
The Bearcats were outmatched in the pool, but even though the score was high, goalie Zane Warren had an, “outstanding game in goal,” according to Head Coach Duane McRoy. The final ended up being (21-5), but Santa Ynez is a strong team and expects to make a run in the CIF playoffs this season. It was the depth that separated the two teams Thursday. Santa Ynez had strong swimmers and experienced players across the board while some of the Bearcats starters are still in the process of learning how to play at a high level. On offense, some of the Bearcats players had real trouble creating any space from their defender, sometimes leaving Warren with the ball in his hands for half the shot clock, just looking for someone to feed the ball too. On defense, the Pirates were just too fast. The Pirates were able to beat the Bearcats down the pool, often resulting in two on ones or even two on nones. Even with shots and goals coming from all angles, Warren never became discouraged or lost confidence. He finished the game with 14 saves, which included a five-meter penalty shot.
Senior captains Zach Tucker and John Nash scored all of the goals for the Bearcats. Tucker was able to score four goals against the Pirates and Nash added the other.
On Tuesday the Bearcats traveled to Santa Maria to take on the St. Joseph Knights in their first PAC 8 league game. The Bearcats won (16-6) bringing their record this season to (2-1) and (1-0) in league. According to Coach McRoy, Tucker also scored six goals in the game Tuesday, Warren added 12 more saves and AJ Brown and Tre Eade each added three goals of their own. The Bearcats next home match will come on Sept. 14, when they welcome Cabrillo to the municipal pool.
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