By Lucy Jackson
With six seconds left and a one goal lead, boysâ varsity water polo coach Larry Felix called a timeout. Just minutes earlier, the Wolverines led by three goals, the largest lead of the game and were on their way to beating Loyola en route to a 11th straight league title. After two quick Loyola scores, Felix wanted to be sure this one didnât get away.
âWe were up by two, and with 18 seconds left they scored,â Felix said. âIn our sport, you can put the ball where you want after a timeout, and I gave it to my goalie to wind down the clock.â
With the crowd counting down the seconds, the Wolverines held the ball to keep their lead, and as the buzzer sounded, goalie Max Lubin â08 screamed as he threw up the ball and thrust both forefingers into the air, indicating the teamâs number one finish in league.
âThe win was satisfying because we knew that we were capable of it,â Lubin said. âItâs hugeâbeating Loyola is part of the Harvard-Westlake water polo tradition.â
The victory over Loyola and another Mission League title solidified what started out as a shaky season for the Wolverines. The team entered league play in October with a 3-6 record, after losing several close games, five of which were decided by one goal.
âBeating Loyola and winning league proved our ability to overcome a rough, slow start,â Billy Evashwick â08 said. âWe assessed our initial problems from the start of this season, and we worked hard to learn from them and improve. We want to continue to dominate league, so beating Loyola is a must.â
The Wolverines went undefeated through league but hit a rough spot when Mater Dei broke their win streak last Friday.
âIt was a bump in the road,â Evashwick said. âItâs a step back after a big Loyola win, but I think it refocused us for playoffs.â
The team will face Long Beach Poly tomorrow afternoon, when CIF playoffs start. Although the Wolverines are expected to beat their lower ranked opponent, Felix isnât leaving anything to chance.
âThese are the games I worry about,â he said. âIf we play our game, weâll win, but in first round games there are a lot of blowouts, and sometimes that affects the kids.â