Boys Water Polo: Monarchs take second in CSL with 17-9 win

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Jonathan Reid scores first goal as Exeter heads into playoffs with favorable 5th seed

By Patrick Dillon
@PDillon_SGN

EXETER – Senior night is already an occasion filled with enough emotion as the most seasoned players compete in their final regular season home game of their careers. However, last Thursday night, as five Monarchs played in their final game at the Montgomery Aquatic Center, held a special moment.

Jonathan Reid was already an established cross-country runner, but at the beginning of his senior year he decided to follow in his brothers’ footsteps and play water polo. Being his first year he got as much playing time as he could, but with as tough of schedule as the Monarchs play it wasn’t a lot. That’s why when the Monarchs were up 12-4 on the Dinuba Emperors at halftime coach Amanda Ogata let him play the rest of the game. In the third quarter Reid scored his first goal of his career in the Monarchs 17-9 win.

“Our goal tonight was to get Jonathan a goal, and I am so excited that we were able to do that,” Ogata said.

Reid was one of six Monarchs to score goals as they demonstrated their offensive power from everywhere in the pool. Jacob Aurelio scored five goals for the Monarchs (13-9, 6-2), and got Exeter on the board early on in the first quarter during a man up advantage. Aurelio scored two more of his goals later in the first quarter and in the second as Exeter jumped out to a 6-3 lead.

Early on in the game the Monarchs offense worked best off counter attacking the Emperors (1-17, 0-4) as opposed to setting up their offense. Multiple times when Exeter got a blocked shot or a turnover their attackers beat the Dinuba defenders back into their zone. Their speed presented some odd man advantages which helped Exeter to get out to such a large lead.

It wasn’t until later in the game when Exeter was up 15-6 that Ogata forced her players to slow down their offensive attack and make multiple passes. Their chemistry seemed to be seamless despite only practicing twice the week prior during fall break.

“We spend so much time together throughout the season that at some point we just need to take a break,” Ogata said.

This win over Dinuba was especially sweet for Ogata. She has never lost to her alma mater in 14 career meetings. Last week she gained her sixth win over current Dinuba head coach and former player Sergio Hernandez.

“It is kind of nice to have that rivalry,” Ogata said.

Exeter will now head into the Division III playoffs with a No. 5 seed and a renewed energy. They hosted the 12th-seeded Yosemite Badgers on Tuesday night. Final happened after press time.

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