Sacred Heart Prep rests its case as a national powerhouse in boys water polo after overpowering visiting Miramonte 17-4 in the championship match of the NorCal Division I tournament Saturday evening.
Gavin West, Luke Johnston, Luke Bachler and Will Swart each contributed three goals to lead SHP (27-3), which scored the first four goals of the contest and took a 12-2 advantage into the final period.
Stanford-bound Griff Price, playing the first three quarters, made seven saves and recorded a save percentage of .778. He added three steals. Orlando Hernandez Alvarado added a pair of saves in the final period.
Jake Tsotadze added two goals and two assists. Luke Weigle, Tyler Hogan and Jack Vort also scored for SHP. Vort and Swart also recorded assists.
Sacred Heart Prep played, perhaps, its best game of the season. They played suffocating defense, allowing just 16 shots and limiting Miramonte to a .250 shot percentage. Three Gators were excluded once each, an insanely low number in a game of this caliber. Miramonte was excluded 10 times, five drawn by SHP players.
The Gators took advantage on offense, scoring four times on a power play and converting all three penalty shots. They were successful on 17 of 28 shots (.607).
Sacred Heart Prep as the top-ranked team in the nation? There’s at least one opponent who thinks so. Talking about West, Menlo-Atherton goalie Jake Taylor once said, “I consider him the best player on the best team in the nation.”
Sacred Heart Prep compiled its most difficult schedule to date, playing top SoCal teams, including Newport Harbor and Mater Dei, the two teams who played for the SoCal Division I title. The Gators split two games against both of them and were 8-3 against the SoCal tournament field, 9-3 if you include the win over SoCal Division II champion Oaks Christian.
SoCal champion Newport Harbor shared several common opponents with Sacred Heart Prep. Newport Harbor was 16-4 and Sacred Heart Prep 17-1 against those opponents.
Sacred Heart Prep set its sights on Saturday, worked all year to get there and delivered.