Cardinal Newman boy's varsity water polo entered their game last Thursday against Justin Siena at 0-4 and questioning if they would pull off a win against the Braves or in the Vintage Valley Tournament that weekend. They went into the game fired up behind coach Matt McDowell and won 11-8 behind great performances from freshman goalie Rocco Smith and freshman Brody Hansel. Hansel has 27 goals, 16 assists and 16 steals, leading the team in all those categories including ejections drawn with 25, all in 8 games. With their first win, the Cardinals went home, ready for what the weekend had in store. The Cardinals would first have to face the team who had given them their most recent loss, San Marin.
The Cardinals faced the Stangs in the morning and even though they lost, Hansel had 4 goals, an assist, 2 steals and 3 ejections drawn, and senior Nate Niehaus also helped Newman with 3 goals. Co-Captain Lucas Alsen had 5 assists during the game, but Newman fell to a very good Stangs team, 16-9. San Marin played in the Marin County league, a league that had top Northern California teams like Tamalpias, Redwood and Archie Williams. The Stangs are currently 9-3 and went 4-0 in the tournament, defeating Newman, Whitney, Novato and Napa. Newman moved on in the tournament with their hardest game behind them, ready to face their next opponent, the team they had faced the day before, Justin-Siena and the Braves hadn't taken the loss lightly.
The Cardinals played a tough game against the Braves and were down 1-0 heading into the 2nd Quarter, but they scored 5 goals in the 2nd and held the Braves to only 3, to lead 5-4 at half. The Braves fired back, though, and tied the game 9-9, heading into the 4th Quarter. The Cardinals shut out the Braves in the 4th behind a great defensive effort, great saves from Smith and a great counter attack which gave them 3 goals in the 4th and led them to their 2nd W, 12-9. Sophmore Mathias McCarthy had 4 goals and 2 assists and led the team along with Brody Hansel who had 4 goals, 2 assists nad 3 steals. Nate Niehaus contributed 2 goals and sophomore Aiden Wolfe had his first goal of the season. The Cardinals moved on to play Roseville who were coming off a big win against American Canyon.
Roseville took the lead in the 2nd and led heading into the 4th Quarter 6-4, but Newman led an intense comeback, scoring 5 goals in the 4th Quarter behind great performances by Hansel and Niehaus who both had 3 goals. Hansel also had 3 assists, 3 steals and 4 ejections drawn. McCarthy had 2 goals and 5 steals while Alsen contributed with 3 assists and 2 steals. Newman won 9-8 to take their 3rd win of the year and 2nd win of the tournament. Newman went on to face Concord, a 2-4 team, and if Newman won, they would win their bracket at the tournament.
Newman took on Concord who had lost to San Rafael and Roseville in the Tournament and were ready to face the Cardinals. Mathias McCarthy had a fantastic game, putting up 6 goals while Brody Hansel also had a great game with 4 goals, 5 assists and 3 steals. Kai Slater put up 2 goals, 4 assists, 5 steals and a field block while Niehaus had 4 goals, 3 assists and a steal. Co-Captains Elijah Popkin and Lucas Alsen combined for 3 assists and 2 steals. Freshman Kameron Guttormsen also had a goal in Newman's best performance all year. The Cardinals completed their weekend at 3-1 with a win over Concord, 17-6 and won their bracket at the Vintage Valley Tournament.
Brody Hansel had 15 goals, 11 assists and 11 steals. Here were his thoughts on the on the team performance:
"We did good. Lot's of improvement from last year's team. We won 3 out of the 4 and then also got a dub Thursday night in a league game, big league game. I do think we could do a better job of warming up though because our first 2 games of the day we came in non-prepared and could've done a lot better"
Newman will face American Canyon today and come home to face Napa, American Canyon and Sonoma on Tuesday and Wednesday.