MI boys water polo falls 14-13 to Roosevelt in OT – MI Reporter
The Islanders lost a thrilling seesaw battle to Roosevelt 14-13 in overtime Thursday, Oct. 8 at Helene Madison Pool.
Immediately following the game, Islanders coach Andrew Smith-Jones was elated, not disappointed. “It shows how far we’ve come,” said Smith-Jones. “Just like the Seahawks who started 0-2, here we come. We had a great time, and we knew we were in it the whole way.” The Islanders previously lost to the Roughriders 7-3 on Sept. 14.
Mercer Island created good pressure early, forcing two turnovers in the first minute of the game. The Islanders first goal was a Sam Nair feed to hole-set Erik Raisys at 4:36. Raisys scored again just a minute later from the same spot. Islander brothers Conner Vacca and Sammy Vacca added to the tally to secure a 5-2 team lead at the end of the first quarter.
Roosevelt’s Jake Gordon scored in the first 30 seconds of the second. Both defenses tightened up for the next four minutes as the teams traded one more goal each. The crowd became fired up when Erik Raisys rose like a ferocious Kraken from near-complete submersion to score the seventh Islander goal from the two-meter. The Islanders maintained their three-goal lead at the half, up 7-4.
The Islanders lead widened when Conner Vacca scored at 6:44, but the Roughriders came charging back with four unanswered goals to tie it 8-8. MI’s Carson Coe broke open the stalemate at 1:37 and Sammy Vacca hit the top corner with 10 seconds left to close the third up 12-10.
With time ticking away, Roosevelt opened the fourth quarter with high emotion and aggression. The Islanders played tough defense, but went cold in shooting. Roosevelt’s JP Kuder and Rusty Farner each found the net, forcing overtime when regulation ended at 12-12.
Roosevelt’s Jake Gordon scored the only goal of the first OT period. Islander Conner Vacca scored in the second OT to tie it up, but Jake Gordon sunk a lob shot at 1:15 to seal the victory for the Roughriders.
Eric Raisys and Conner Vacca led the Islanders with four goals each. Hunter Peshkin had nine saves on the game. On the Roosevelt side of the ledger, brothers Conrad and Jake Gordon led the offense with four each. Roosevelt goalies Conrad Gordon and JP Kuder combined for 10 saves.
Earlier in the week, the Islanders blasted through Shorewood to win 18-7. Erik Raisys, Sammy Vacca and Ford Witman led the Islanders with four goals each in the game. Hunter Peshkin had five saves and Cole Nielsen had three saves. The Islanders are 3-5 overall and 3-3 in league play heading into a rematch with Bellevue 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14.