Sacred Heart Prep looking for experience | September 27, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 27, 2019

Sacred Heart Prep looking for experience

Woodside takes control of the PAL Bay Division

by Rick Eymer

Sacred Heart Prep boys water polo coach Brian Kreutzkamp won't get one of his most experienced players back until sometime in October. Until then, he just needs his team to keep playing.

Without a senior on the squad, it's become a complete rebuilding year for the Gators, who are used to being considered one of the top programs in the country.

So far, SHP has played in one tournament, finishing second in the St. Francis tournament, and three league matches. It's still a little too early to crown the Gators the best of the section.

"We're so young," Kreutzkamp said, "we need a lot of varsity experience."

Back troubles have kept sophomore goalie Griffin Price from playing yet this season. Despite his youth, Price was a key player in Sacred Heart Prep's successful season last year.

With half of last year's teams playing in college, Kreutzkamp can only hope the younger group grows in a hurry.

They're showing they are, at least, heading in the right direction.

Luke Johnston scored four goals in helping the Gators remain unbeaten in West Catholic Athletic League play with an 18-3 victory over visiting St. Ignatius on Wednesday night.

Bear Weigle and Jack Tsotadze each added three goals for the Gators (6-1, 3-0), who host Serra next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in a league match.

Wyatt Stenson made seven saves for SHP, which held the Wildcats without a goal for 19:21 after they scored in the final seconds of the first period.

"Wyatt has done a really good job," Kreutzkamp said. "Luckily we have some team speed and are able to utilize that."

Sacred Heart Prep is the three-time defending WCAL champions and has won seven of the past eight league tittles. The Gators lost to Bellarmine in the St. Francis tournament earlier this year.

"They're clearly the number one team in the section," Kreutzkamp said. "I'm looking forward to seeing them in an individual game."

After a slow start against the Wildcats, the Gators went into overdrive and overwhelmed the SI defense, beating them down the pool and getting off close shots. If not for SI goalie Luca Caniglia making several highlight stops among his nine saves, the score could have been worse.

"We led Mitty 8-6 at one point," Kreutzkamp said. "We wanted to make a point of being better than that. We play some good teams coming up and I don't think there will be too many more 18-3 games."

After the Wildcats pulled within 4-2, Johnston scored in the first 25 seconds of the second period and Isaac Rotenberg followed with a goal less than a minute later. Johnston added another score midway through the period and the Gators were in control.

Will Swart added two goals, three assists and a pair of steals for the Gators, who was declared co-champions with Bellarmine in last year's Central Coast Section Open Division last fall. The title game was canceled because of poor air quality.

Sacred Heart Prep finished 2018 with a 26-2 overall record, which included three victories over the Bells.

Teddy Pasquesi also scored twice against SI while Jack Vort recorded a goal and two assists.

Menlo School, playing its first year in the WCAL, found its first league victory with a prolific offensive showing. The Knights recorded a season in goals, beating visiting Valley Christian 23-14 as Noah Housenbold scored six goals and Zayd Mahmoud recorded eight saves.

Senior Connor Enright added 4 goals, five assists and two steals for the Knights (7-2, 1-2), who travel to play De La Salle in a nonleague match Saturday.

Connor MacMitchell and Jack King also scored four goals while Ben Siminoff added a pair of goals and two steals. Greg Hilderbrand also scored twice.

Woodside gained the upper hand in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division, beating visiting Burlingame 11-4.

Menlo-Atherton topped Half Moon Bay 18-7 in another PAL match.

Woodside (11-4, 4-0) moved into sole possession of first place in the Bay Division as Aidan Seed scored three goals to help the Wildcats against the Panthers.

Duncan Vaughan, Jake Anderson, Joe Untrecht and Andrew Mills each added two goals for Woodside, which hosts Carlmont in a league match at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Kai Seed recorded five saves and had a pair of assists and Noah Brosius also recorded a pair of assists. Dominic Borg came on at goalie to make three saves.

Julian Montoya scored five goals to lead the Bears (3-1, 5-7), who host Burlingame at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Michael Heller and Zach de Haaff each added three goals as M-A held the Cougars scoreless in the first period while building a 4-0 lead.

Sonny Watkins scored twice and had two assists and Alex Rarick added two assists for M-A.

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