The Grand Haven water polo team had a comfortable 7-3 lead heading into the final quarter of Thursday’s contest against East Kentwood, but playing a woman down in the fourth made things interesting.
The Falcons scored three unanswered goals, but couldn’t find another in the last minute, allowing the Buccaneers to hold on for a 7-6 victory.
“I have never been more proud of a team, coaching, probably even playing, anything,” said coach Matt Alman. “We had a quadruple overtime game when I played, and this probably even more memorable for me even.
“To have an entire quarter where you’re down a player … that’s just a testament to our defense, a testament to our goalie. I’m a defensive coach, so that’s kind of what I preach anyway, but we found just enough offense to win.”
That offense began late in the first quarter.
Alman called a timeout with 26 seconds remaining to allow his attack to regroup, and Grand Haven’s Jessica Hentschel found the back of the net with four ticks left, putting the Bucs down 2-1.
Grand Haven rode the momentum in the second quarter. A Stephanie Shantz goal tied the game at two, and then Murielle Garbarino scored twice to give the Bucs a 4-2 edge.
It was the top half of a scoring sandwich for Garbarino.
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