COLUMBIA, Missouri, November 13. DAY 3 of the 2006 Speedo Cup in Columbia, MO was electric. Four teams on the boy's side of the tournament woke up with aspirations of a title on Sunday, but only one could win.
Stanford and San Diego were in the driver's seat for the title game, but each team had a tough semi-final game a head of them.
The first game paired Stanford with Santa Barbara. Stanford controlled the game and the score, winning 6-4. Stanford would move on to face the winner of the Aliso Viejo vs. San Diego game.
In that contest, San Diego started out strong scoring the first, but soon there after Aliso Viejo found their grove. Trailing 8-7, San Diego had one last opportunity with less than a minute remaining to tie the game. The shot cranked the cross-bar and Aliso Viejo tracked it down and stole the win. With the semi-final victory, Aliso Viejo would set up a rematch with Stanford in the championship game, while San Diego would take on Santa Barbara for the bronze.
The bronze medal game for the boys matched San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara jumped out to the early 1-0 lead. But San Diego came back with four unanswered goals to lead, 4-1 half way through the second quarter.
Just before the half Santa Barbara's Chase Racich netted a goal to bring San Diego's lead to two. In the second half, Cody Moore tacked on two goals to even the score at 4-4. From this point on the game was a close, with the score going back and forth. San Diego squeezed in a goal with a minute left and had an 8-6 lead. Santa Barbara had a couple different chances to get within one, but couldn't come up with the big goal and San Diego won, 8-6.
San Diego's Drew Hoffenberg led his team in goals with four, while Santa Barbara's Kevin Cappon and Cody Moore each had two goals.
The championship game provided some good fundamental water polo by Aliso Viejo, CA and Stanford, CA. The two teams met earlier in the tournament with Stanford winning. The game started fast with Aliso Viejo scoring the first two goals by Charlie Howarth and Chase Yu. Stanford cut the deficit in half with a goal from Robert Dunlevie, to make the score 2-1. Aliso Viejo scored two more goals from Russell Renteria and Yu. Stanford once again cut Aliso Viejo's lead in half with a goal from Philip Bamberg, 4-2.
The second half scoring picked up quite a bit, but Aliso Viejo wasn't going to let down by any means and let Stanford back into this one putting pedal to floor and winning the 2006 Speedo Cup, 12-9.
"Stanford is a really good team," said Luke Hewko of Aliso Viejo. "We were extremely pumped for this game and I thought we played very well."
Renteria led Aliso Viejo in scoring with four goals. Teammates Yu and Howarth combined for five of the teams 12 goals. Stanford's Christian Broom led his team in scoring with four, while teammates Dunlevie, Conner Johnson and Peter Simon each had three goals.
"This was an awesome tournament," said Hewko. "It's like the Olympics for 14-year olds."
Although they didn't walk away from this year's Speedo Cup in the top 5, the Ft. Lauderdale team did walk away with some great experience and a great appreciation of the Speedo Cup.
"This here was a nicely sought out venue," said Ft. Lauderdale coach Edwin Barrera. "Although we didn't win much, the atmosphere was great and the kids all have smiles on their faces and that's what this whole thing is about."
JODY CAMPBELL AWARD WINNERS:
Luke Hewko – Aliso Viejo, CA
Nathaniel Bean – Baytown, TX
Chicago, IL – Eduardo Chavez
Clovis, CA – Jared Osborn
Ft. Lauderdale – Derek Shoemaker
Greenwich, CA – Eric Minowitz
Oak Park, IL – AJ Quebbeman
Sammamish, WA – Quinn Sterling
San Diego, CA – Drew Hoffenberg
Santa Barbara, CA – Sebastian Gomez-Devine
Stanford, CA – Philip Bamberg
Tustin, CA – Paul Reynolds
The girl's action was just as exciting on day 3 as the boys. The Mizzou Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Missouri was rumbling with cheer. Teams battled all day long, with the championship hopes as well.
Los Alamitos, CA lost a tough match early to Diablo, CA, controlling the entire game until the last couple of minutes in the fourth quarter. While Commerce took care of business in their first game of the day defeating Miami, 11-1.
One of the most intriguing games of the day was between Commerce and Los Alamitos. The two hooked up during the afternoon session. Commerce came out the gate fast with a couple quick goals. But Los Alamitos didn't quit and muscled their way back in the ball game and took the lead. In the fourth quarter, Commerce desperately tried to even the score, but Los Alamitos and their defense stepped up and put the clams on, winning 8-6.
Another good game was between two unbeaten teams in Santa Barbara, CA and Laguna Beach, CA. The game was neck and neck up until the fourth quarter.
Laguna added a goal with two minutes remaining and that was all they needed, winning 6-3.
"We've never beat Santa Barbara before," said Laguna Beach goalie Etianne Manetta. "Los Al beat Commerce and we've beaten Los Al. So, tomorrow should be fun."
Day 4 of the 2006 Speedo Cup should be one last day of excitement in Columbia, MO. The first two games of the day are the semi-final matches.
Los Alamitos takes on Santa Barbara at 8 a.m., while Laguna Beach plays Commerce in the other semi-final game at 8:50.
"This is really exciting," said Manetta. "We've never traveled as a team outside the state of California."
Manetta and her teammates should be excited because they are the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament, but have a tough game a head of them with Commerce.
"We've been playing with each other for a long time now," said Manetta. "I think it's to our advantage because we know how each other shoots and passes in the water."
BOYS DAY 3 STANDINGS PLACE
Aliso Viejo, CA 5-1 1ST
Stanford, CA 5-1 2nd
San Diego, CA 5-1 3rd
Santa Barbara, CA 3-3 4th
Sammamish, WA 3-2 5th
Tustin, CA 2-3 6th
Greenwich, CT 2-3 7th
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 1-4 8th
Clovis, CA 2-2 9th
Oak Park, IL 1-3 10th
Baytown, TX 1-3 11th
Chicago, IL 0-4 12th
GIRLS DAY 2 STANDINGS
Laguna Beach, CA 4-0
Commerce, CA 3-1
Diablo, CA 3-1
Los Alamitos, CA 3-1
Santa Barbara, CA 3-1
Stanford, CA 2-2
Baytown, TX 1-2
Greenwich, CT 1-2
Miami, FL 1-3
Vista, CA 1-3
Lincoln Park, IL 1-3
Chicago, IL 0-4