Northern elite stretching for Sunday workout. (Taken with instagram)
Northern Elite fends off Commerce, takes on YucaipaTweet
With a difficult first draw of playing Commerce, the most recent Hawaii Invitation champion, Northern Elite water polo club found a way to stop numerous rally attempts and strategic counter attacks in a 14-10 victory on Friday night.
Northern California water polo is known to be quite a bit different in their style and approach. However, the Northern Elite squad handled the change in referee style as well aggressive playing style of Commerce with poise and confidence.
Two moments of sheer brilliance occurred in the 14-10 to show what Northern Elite was capable of. In the first quarter, Northern Elite took a 5-3 on Jed Rosen’s perfectly timed rise out of the water to accept an under pressure pass from Luca Pagano and fire across the cage to hit the upper corner bar and bury the ball in the back of the net. A picture perfect example of what good passing with do for a team.
Another display of critical passing was displayed in the middle of the fourth quarter when Alex Laird and Matt Baszucki linked up with a give and go as Laird created separation and hit Baszucki on the overpass after a superb drive. Baszucki did well to finish intelligently as he immediately noticed the goalie’s position and opted for the cross cage lob which feathered nicely into the side of the net. The play left Commerce nothing more to be desired as this deflated their hard perimeter press and Northern Elite when on to represent northern California water polo with an opening win.
The next match will be played at UC Irvine against Yucaipa at 11:20am PST. Winner of this match will take home 1st place in their group and move on to the top bracket in the tournament as playoffs begin late Saturday night.