On Thursday, Oct. 24, the Loyola varsity water polo team faced off against rival Oaks Christian in a well-hyped matchup. Oaks Christian took the game early, and the Cubs were never able to recover, ending with a 10-7 loss.
The Cubs did not have the lead one time during the game, and the largest margin in points was Oaks Christian’s 8-3 lead at the end of the third quarter. Despite a frustrating and physical three quarters, the Cubs managed to win the fourth quarter and almost make a full comeback.
During the final seconds of the game, the Cubs got even closer to a comeback when senior Keegan Engstrom threw a cross-pool pass to junior Griffin Engstrom, Keegan’s younger brother, resulting in Griffin burying the shot to cut the lead down to three points.
The Cubs played a defensive game, but Oaks Christian shot far better. Throughout the game, Oaks Christian shot 10-for-13 (77%), while the Cubs shot 7-for-27 (26%). Oaks did not miss any shots -- the three shots that did not go in were saved by senior and third-time varsity goalie Alex Mueller.
For such an important game against a rival, the Cubs were not at 100%. Junior Ford Cary sat out of the game and senior Travis Reynolds was an unfortunate victim of Oaks Christian’s hard and fast offense, suffering a difficult shoulder injury that put him out the rest of the game. However, the Oaks Christian coach showed great sportsmanship, repeatedly checking on Reynolds throughout the remainder of the game.
However, there is still plenty of time to bounce back in the season, and Loyola is still ranked third in CIF Southern Section Division I.
After a tough 10-7 loss, the Cubs are looking to bounce back tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. with a home game against Crespi.