Suffield goes 1-1 on the day...
Suffield 10 Brunswick 14
For its final regular season contests, Suffield hosted league leader Brunswick and Choate. Brunswick's perfect league record and Choate's competitiveness were sure to test the Tiger polomen, who were without the service of top goal scorer Max Miranda and fast improving Westley Bartlett. Nonetheless,
The opener versus Brunswick treated spectators to high level, organized play, showcased by the Bruins. The league leaders sprinted out to a 4-1 lead, stymiying Suffield's offense with steals and adroit positional play. Suffield got a bit sharper in the quarters to come, also helped by Brunswick's generous substitution for the remainder of the game. The orange polomen once again enjoyed their best quarter in Q3, outscoring the Brown team by 4-2. After three quarters, Suffield trailed Brunswick 10-7. Brunswick closed a bit stronger than Suffield, earning a 4-3 Q4 advantage.
Finding the back of the net for Suffield: Max Bass (4), on heads up rebounding, Sasha Derby (3), earned in Molly two quarters of field play, Ryan Lunsford (2), and Walter Kress (1). Derby recorded five blocks in the shallow end goal, and Melvin Ku blocked four shots while netminding in the deep end.
Suffield 15 Choate 11
After a one game rest, the Tigers played always competitive Choate. The teams have played to near parity over the last decade. This season, Suffield won the early season opener over the Blue, in a high scoring episode, 19-15. Both teams appeared poised for some fireworks in this final regular season contest.
Q1 was successfully managed by the Orange, as they built a 5-2 lead by period's end. This was encouraging, as Q1 is not always friendly to Suffield. Scoring five goals was a notable achievement for Suffield against a hard working and speedy Choate squad. The lead was extended to four goals (8-4) on the strength of some aggressive shooting by the Tigers in the second quarter, responsive to a theme of Coach Ciecimirski's critiques of recent game play.
Choate staged an impressive charge in Q3, which is usually Suffield's go to period, as the Wild Boars outscored the Tigers, 5-4. The game was now Suffield's to win or lose, up by three goals, with seven minutes of regulation play remaining. Three goals is not a lot to make up in the streaky game of water polo, so this was truly an existential challenge for the Orange. A key Tiger score was secured in the first minute, extending Suffield's lead to 13-9. The entire team helped protect the victory, as fouling out by Cian Beaulieu and Walter Kress, as well as a need for fresh players, ignited some welcome sparks across the home team's final four minutes of play. Impressive play was demonstrated by James Kagan, Ryan Lunsford, Elias Smith, Marco Secchiaroli, Oscar Ceria, Jordan Slade, Andrew Budge, and Westley Bartlett. Suffield prevailed by a comfortable margin, 15-11.
Seniors Walter Kress and Max Bass really stepped up their game for the appreciative home crowd, scoring five and four goals, respectively. The efforts of dual purpose goalie/field players Melvin Ku (3 goals, 7 blocks) and Sasha Derby (1 goal, 2 blocks) also spearheaded the team efforts. Ryan Lunsford tallied a goal to round out the scoring.
Suffield travels to New Haven for the Hopkins Invitational Saturday, November 11, for two games in a four-team draw.
Regular season record: 8-8