Greenwich High boys water polo ready to make waves

Last year, Greenwich High’s Robert Peterson lined up a shot at net during the Mid-Atlantic Interscholastic Athletic Championship. This year’s team has high expectations and is planning on repeating that championship.

Last year, Greenwich High’s Robert Peterson lined up a shot at net during the Mid-Atlantic Interscholastic Athletic Championship. This year’s team has high expectations and is planning on repeating that championship.

Another year, another run at being one of the top teams in the country for the Greenwich High School boys water polo team.

With almost its entire roster back from last year’s highly-successful season, head coach Terry Lowe and the rest of the Cardinals are gearing up for the possibility of another dominating run this fall.

“I expect a lot of wins,” Lowe said. “This is a team that has a lot of experience, good size, good speed and we are really deep. We should be able to easily put together a great starting lineup and be able to back them up with six other solid players.”

Last season, Big Red came home with a handful of championship trophies, winning the Mid-Atlantic Interscholastic Athletic championship, beating Gonzaga College High School 14-5. Greenwich also won the prestigious Montreal Invitational, the Beast of the East Tournament and they won all three games to claim victory in their home tournament, the Cardinal Invitational.

“We have a lot of our starters from last year coming back this year and they are returning with experience playing at the highest level last year,” Lowe said. “They played quality teams last year. At the interscholastic level, I think a lot of the teams lost a lot more players than we did, so we should be a dominant force at most events.”

Leading the way for Big Red this season will be senior co-captains Steve Michaud and Julian Fraser.

“It’s a real honor to be a leader on this team because there are so many talented kids here,” Michaud said. “To lead these kids is a really good experience.”

“I’m really looking forward to being one of the captains on this team,” Fraser said. “I’ve been with these guys since I was a freshman and now they are looking up to me to lead the team. It’s a great honor and I hope to lead them to a successful season.”

In order for the team to be successful, Lowe stated that he needs his captains to be strong leaders.

“Steve is going to lead the defense out there in goal and we expect Julian to take a very verbal role and lead our offense,” Lowe said. “He will be setting up our man-ups and taking control. I think they are both great captains and are great leaders.”

Throughout the offseason and during the preseason this year, Big Red has improved the most on its team defense. Greenwich will be playing an aggressive defense that plays the lanes well and makes it tough for the opposing teams to complete passes.

In four scrimmages this season, Greenwich has only given up two goals and has successfully grabbed a plethora of steals along the way.

“It’s excellent,” Lowe said. “Defensively we should be strong and the opposition will have to work really hard to get goals on us because we got good, aggressive team defense and we got two excellent goalies. One of the good things we have is the ability to shut down the other team’s 2-meter man.”

Leading the way on defense will be Tyler Triscari and Ed Moss up top. Last year Triscari added 55 steals, while Moss finished with 31 steals. Those two will attack the ball and get the counterattack moving.

In addition, Fraser, senior Ben Wurst, Jack Robinson and Alex Zim provide the team with an added boost defensively. Wurst finished with 44 steals and eight blocks last year, while Fraser added 46 steals and eight blocks last year.

“We have a lot of returning seniors and we did really well during our scrimmages last week in Reading, Pennsylvania,” Julian Fraser said. “It’s great to have a full starting lineup of seniors that have stayed with the program for four years. We are strong in all areas of the game and we are really good at counterattack offense. We beat our opponents because of the speed that we have.”

In net, Greenwich has the luxury of having two goalies, senior Steve Michaud and Alex Jahns, that could lead any team to success. Last year, Michaud played in 29 games and finished with 238 saves and only gave up 165 goals. He also added 40 steals and 16 assists to his totals.

Lowe said that Michaud is average in height, but added that in addition to being very confident between the pipes, Michaud is very strong, has great legs, is aggressive and makes it tough for people to get the ball by him.

“We have a lot of experienced seniors this year and we have a lot of returners,” Michaud said. “There’s a lot of potential on this team. Our varsity team is very strong and I think we are going to do really well. We are a fast team and we have a bunch of really good shooters.”

Jahns, who played water polo for the first time last year for Lowe, has worked extremely hard throughout the year to be one of the top goalies in the area. Lowe said that his height and ability to cover a lot of the goal is a huge asset.

“It’s going to be really hard for a team to get the ball by either one of my goalies,” Lowe said. “They both have shown the ability to throw some great outlet passes. I love having quality goalies but it’s going to be hard because I want to give them the same amount of playing time. They are too good not to be sharing time in goal.”

While the defense is strong, Greenwich’s offense will be just as tough to figure out. Last year, the Cards had two strong attackers that found the goal quite a bit. Recent graduate Matthew Fraser led the way with 85 goals and 40 assists, while Will Klingner added 41 goals and took 99 shots.

This time around, Greenwich doesn’t have that go-to person at the attack, but instead has six guys that can score at any given time. Julian Fraser was second on the team last year in scoring with 59 goals and 33 assists, while Triscari added 58 goals on 106 shots. Also returning is Wurst, who pitched in last year with 24 goals and 15 assists.

“We have a lot of people scoring goals,” Lowe said. “We have a lefty like Tyler Triscari that is aggressive on the counterattack that can finish things off. Julian Fraser can score from the 2-meter position at any given time, as can Jack Robinson. Ed Moss has hit some really good shots in net. We have a lot of potential scorers out there and no matter what lineup we have out there, teams have to fear us.”

With the top-notch defense and scoring threat from anywhere in the pool, Greenwich High should be in contention for the top spot in nearly every tournament they will compete in this season.

“We definitely will be challenging a lot of the elite teams in the area,” said Lowe. “I am not looking for an undefeated season, but I am definitely looking for a highly-successful season at the highest scholastic level.”

While Lowe expects great things from his team this season, he also knows there’s always room for improvement.

“I think the one thing that every polo coach wants his team to improve on the most is the man-up offense,” Lowe said. “You have to score a large percentage of your goals on the power play. We need to score on 60% to 70% of our man-ups if we are going to be successful. With the size and amount of strong arms out there, I think we can get to that percentage.”

Greenwich High will start its run to the top when they travel to Erie, Pa. and compete in the McDowell Cup Saturday.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress