Miramonte Water Polo Pre-Season Preview

Photo: M. Cody

Photo: M. Cody

Will Richardson, Staff Writer

It was the last two minutes, with Miramonte and the Drake Pirates deadlocked 7-7 in a men’s water polo game last Monday. Despite the urgings of a raucous student section, the Mats gave up two goals in overtime and could not overturn the deficit, peppering the goal with unsuccessful shots. Center Tomer Schmoisman ’16 found his close-range effort crash against the post in the last seconds of regulation time. After this 9-7 loss, co-captain Tyler Larsen ’16 expressed optimism, despite the result: “We did some things well, but obviously there were a lot more things that we could have done better,” Larsen said. “It’s real early in the season so we have plenty of time to correct last night’s little mistakes.” Indeed, there is cause to be upbeat: among some of the nation’s top teams, Miramonte achieved a fifth-place finish last weekend with a 3-1 record at the Santa Barbara invitational.

Reasons for optimism include a strong group of seniors, led by Larsen and fellow captain Alex Zamanian. This pair, along with fellow 12th-graders Max Murphy,  Pat Hallahan and Andrew Deaver, should provide some valuable experience for a team which includes 12 sophomores and juniors. In the ranks of these younger players is junior Tyler Abramson who, along with Murphy, is left-handed. This gives the pair an inherent advantage in the pool; Head Coach James Lathrop intends to feature these two lefties heavily. Along with Abramson in the younger grades is starting goalkeeper Duncan Creed ’18, who was on the varsity squad last year and plied his trade in Jamaica this summer with his age group’s US national team, an extraordinary achievement. Finally, another sophomore, Mikey Dakis, has been highlighted by fellow teammate Jack Niehaus as an up-and-coming player who should make an impact in his first year on varsity. “Mikey has looked very good in practice and should get a lot of time this year,” said Niehaus, a senior. With all things considered, even after the loss to Drake, all the pieces are there for one of Miramonte’s better water polo teams in recent years to come out of Bill Brown Aquatic Center.