Greenwich High water polo finishes another stellar season on top

Greenwich High School’s Tyler Triscari charges towards the ball during the title game of the Mid-Atlantic championship

Greenwich High School’s Tyler Triscari charges towards the ball during the title game of the Mid-Atlantic championship

Another season and another dominating performance by the Greenwich High School boys water polo team.

Led by an experienced and talented group of water polo players, Big Red finished the season with a 35-1-1 overall record.

The Cardinals beat standout programs like the Club Aquatique Montreal, Cumberland Valley, Lawrenceville, and Loyola Blakefield School. They also beat both the Navy Athletic Club and Pittsburgh three times each.

Big Red also dominated everywhere it played, winning the Beast of the East Tournament, the United States Naval Academy Tournament, the Mid-Atlantic championship, the Screamin’ Eagle Tournament, and Big Red’s host tournament, the Cardinal Tournament.

Greenwich’s lone tie was in the championship game of the Montreal Invitational, held at the 1976 Olympic venue Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard. There, it tied CAMO 10-10.

In fact, the only loss for Greenwich High came at the hands of the United State’s Naval Academy’s junior varsity squad, 16-13, in the Open Tournament of the Americas. In that same tournament, Big Red came away with an 18-7 victory over the Viper Pigeon Water Polo Club from Houston, Texas.

“This was one of the most skilled teams I’ve had,” longtime GHS head coach Terry Lowe said. “They had great chemistry and we had a very balanced squad. We had three lefties and three righties starting in the field, we had three or four people that could play hole, we had great team defense, and we had two super goalies. They were a cohesive group. No matter what adversity we had, they pulled through.”

Big Red capped off its amazing season by winning yet another Mid-Atlantic championship, as it beat the hosting Navy Aquatics Club, 9-7, in a game that turned out to be a defensive struggle.

Greenwich fell behind early in the second period, 4-2, with co-captain Julian Fraser scoring the team’s two goals.

Greenwich then went on a five-goal run that catapulted the visitors to a 7-4 lead at halftime. Senior Tyler Triscari got the streak started, and fellow senior Ed Moss fired the game-tying goal. Fraser put his team in the lead, completing his hat trick, and senior Mack Neary tossed in a cross-cage lob to extend the lead. Triscari ended the streak on a counterattack goal.

After Navy scored the opening goal of the second half, Nick Hyden and Moss answered to extend the lead to 9-5. Playing to run out the clock, Big Red did not score again, as Navy put up a pair of goals to make the championship game end 9-7. GHS goalie Steven Michaud made six saves during the contest.

Led by hat tricks from Triscari, Jack Kerwin and Darius Asgari, Greenwich earned its berth in the Mid-Atlantic title game with a 16-5 win over the Landon School from Bethesda, Md.

“This was such a wonderful team to coach, and to see some of the great polo they’ve played throughout the course of the year was a real joy,” Lowe said. “It was a terrific team and I am glad that we were able to pull off the championship at the end, winning the Mid-Atlantic and beating the Pennsylvania champions on the same weekend. We were able to prevail because of the type of depth we have and having people coming through at the right time.”

Greenwich’s prolific offense actually spread the wealth when it came to netting goals. However, it was senior Triscari who paced Big Red. While stellar on the counterattack, Triscari finished with 121 goals on the season and had an extremely high shooting percentage, converting on nearly two-thirds of his shots.

A determined Ed Moss fires off a shot in Greenwich High's Mid-Atlantic semifinal victory over Maryland's Landon School.

A determined Ed Moss fires off a shot in Greenwich High’s Mid-Atlantic semifinal victory over Maryland’s Landon School.

“There were games where everybody picked up the slack,” Lowe said. “However, Tyler made a big difference in a bunch of games this year, especially during those close games we had. Not only did he have the goals, but he also came up with the steals that led to goals.”

In addition to Triscari’s offensive firepower, Fraser had a season to remember. The senior co-captain finished the season with 115 goals. Ed Moss was third on the Cardinals, finishing with 59 goals, and Jack Robinson added 54 goals on the season. Ben Wurst was fifth on the team in scoring with 44 goals.

Although Mack Neary finished with a lower number of goals scored than the leaders, grabbing 26 this year, he also was the team’s top defensive player and came up huge in critical situations. On defense, Neary had 67 steals, 19 interceptions.

Big Red’s defense always seemed to come up huge this season. In addition to Neary, Triscari finished with 73 steals and four interceptions. Wurst, the team’s long-arm defending specialist, had 75 steals and eight interceptions.

Greenwich High was blessed with two top-notch goalies this season, as senior Steven Michaud and Alex Jahns were battling back and forth for starting time. Michaud gave up 133 goals and had 163 saves in regular competition, while Jahns finished with 129 saves while giving up 81 goals. Both goalies finished with one save in a penalty shot.

While Lowe’s gut reaction to goaltending is that a goalie needs to own a game, that wasn’t the case this season. Both Michaud and Jahns saw a plethora of playing time. Michaud played 86 quarters in 32 games, while Jahns played 62 quarters in 27 games.

“For me, it was both wonderful and terrible,” Lowe said. “They are both outstanding goalies. For a lot of big games, we stuck with Steven Michaud because of his senior leadership and great ability to take over a game. They are both great kids and great goaltenders. It was very hard for me to choose one over the other because I always felt I was slighting the other.”

While Lowe finished this season in typical Greenwich dominating fashion, the legendary GHS head coach said he took pride in the way his team dedicated themselves to the sport.

“They came to practice every day and worked hard,” Lowe said. “They went into every game confident that they could beat the opposition. The fact that they were confident enough, even when they fell behind, they really were able to dig deep and prove themselves as a team that could come back and win those close games. A lot of teams would give up if they were five goals down. Not us. We always kept on fighting back.”

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