The Hornets (13-4, 1-2) have built their team around speed and until now have always been the fastest team in the water. However, the Rustler’s (10-1, 2-0) lightning-fast counter-attacks tripped up the Hornets in their 15-10 win.
The anticipation for this match was high as it featured two of the highest ranked Junior College teams in the state. Golden West was ranked No. 4 before the match while Fullerton ranked at No. 7.
“We were holding the tiger by the tail in trying to stop their counter-attacks,” said Rhett Price, Fullerton’s head coach.
Price’s team played three tightly contested quarters before falling short in the fourth.
After three quarters, the Rustlers led the Hornets 11-10 with Fullerton on the brink of comeback win. The third quarter featured the most aggressive play from both teams as the defenses set in.
“We were drawing a lot of kickouts, which is a
good thing. Getting aggressive, getting in front of them and getting them ejected.” said Jacob Moore, Hornet freshman.
However, Golden West would take complete control of the fourth quarter. They would score four unanswered goals on Hornet goalie Sam Feaster, who finished the match with 20 saves and 15 goals allowed.
“They put up a pretty good fight today,” said Golden West player, Sean Grabb. “We weren’t expecting it. They came in pretty hard, focused, and stunned us.”
The Hornet’s often find themselves leading games not trailing them. But in this one, the Hornet’s only lead would come from first quarter goals by sophomore Ian Montgomery and freshman Trevor Birkbeck. Birkback finished with 2 goals in the match.
The first quarter showcased the extreme speed that they were capable of. However, Fullerton still trailed 3-5 at the end of the period.
Immediately out of the break, Freshman Joe Feaster scored to close the gap to one. Both teams committed a few mental blunders and plenty of penalties in the second quarter. A total of eight ejections and three penalty shots were called in the first half alone.
Zakk Parker scored three goals in the first half to bring his team within 2 as the half ended with Fullerton trailing 6-8. Parker’s performance was one of the few bright spots in the game as he finished with four goals.
Despite the loss, Coach Price is looking forward to using this game as a stepping stone.
“The first 3 quarters we played our game, we played
exactly the way we wanted to, we worked our short sprinting game in order to
take away their speed.” said Price. “But they had us beat.”
The Hornet’s will look to rebound on Oct. 18 as they travel to Santa Monica for the Santa Monica Mini Tournament. It is a two weekend tournament and will conclude on Oct. 25.