First published in the Oct. 15 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
Senior Owen Imasaki scored a game-high seven goals to help lead South Pasadena High School’s varsity water polo team over host La Cañada, 19-11, in a Rio Hondo League match last Thursday.
The league-leading Tigers remained undefeated in league play (3-0 record) and moved to 10-8 overall. Meanwhile, the Spartans’ record dipped to 1-2 in league (8-8 overall).
“I think Owen played a great game today,” said Lindsey Garcia, South Pasadena’s head coach. “He’s been out lately, and he came back and he’s doing well. He helped us a lot defensively by containing La Cañada’s [Lucas Quion].”
It was a tough match for the Spartans, who lost control in the third quarter after being outscored 8-2 as South Pasadena claimed a comfortable 17-7 lead on the back of senior Lucas Abrahamian’s three goals.
The first quarter was competitive, highlighted by two saves from South Pasadena’s goalie, senior Kaden Ho, in the final 10 seconds of play to maintain the Tigers’ 4-3 lead.
Imasaki scored three times while Hilger found the back of the net once. La Cañada’s Miles Peters and Lucas Quion scored two and one goals, respectively.
Although La Cañada’s Jack Clark started the second quarter to tie the match, 4-4, South Pasadena answered back with three consecutive goals, two by Egan Hadsell-Florin and one from Abrahamian.
La Cañada’s Aleksnader Nowaczeck scored the Spartans’ final goal of the first half with 2:38 to play.
SPHS’ Imasaki added some cushion with two consecutive goals to end the quarter with a 9-5 Tigers lead, setting up the blowout third quarter.
Tigers senior Hadsell-Florin, senior Diego Williams, freshman Theo Hilger and senior Caleb Hunt each added one goal in the victory-securing third quarter.