The San Diego Mesa men’s water polo lost to a tough Palomar College team at the Pacific Coast Conference championship held at Southwestern College this past weekend. Although the team kept close throughout the match, including tying the game late in the third quarter, the Olympians eventually fell to the Comets 9-7.
“We struggled offensively,” states head coach Nathan Resch. “We had a game plan, but we could not execute. When you’re this far into the season, execution is what determines whether you win or lose.”
The Olympians had been a “second-half team” all season, relying on their adjustments and conditioning to outlast the other team. After evening the score at 7-7, Palomar’s Kevin McCollum was the difference maker scoring two late goals that sealed the Comets victory 9-7.
“It’s always tough when you lose a match like this, but a lot of credit goes to Palomar, they played well,” explains Resch. “Their goalie was phenomenal, he played solid throughout the game. Not to be outdone, Mesa’s freshman goalkeeper Rodrigo Camargo-Marcondes (CSA High School) saved 8 shots on goal.
“Too many near misses, too many missed passes, and too many 'bar outs," explains Resch. 'When the game is this close, those shots need to go to the back of the net.”
This was the third time that Mesa had locked horns against Palomar College. All three games were won by Palomar. The difference in all three games, two points.
After their semifinal loss, the Olympians took on Miramar College to determine third place and were victorious 19-6. Goalkeeper Rodrigo Camargo-Marcondes kept the Comets in check holding Miramar to their lowest output of the year.
“It’s always tough to come back and play for third place, especially after a disappointing loss, but I am happy with how our guys represented.”
The Olympians didn’t achieve what they had hoped for in 2018. The way this season abruptly ended, it will be a reminder that the team needs to play solid throughout the entire length of the game. Once the team figures that out, this team will once again look to contend.
“We will use this as a teaching tool and build from it," states Resch. “We learned that we are capable of playing at a high level, and if we work twice as hard in the offseason, success is sure to follow.