Spartans make a splash with two big wins

Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Michael Magee scored five goals for Mountain View in Thursday’s 12-8 win at rival Los Altos.

Those doubting that the Mountain View High boys water polo team can contend for the title in the rugged Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division may want to reconsider.

So far, the Spartans have done nothing but show they are capable of claiming a crown that has eluded them for decades.

Two days after beating Palo Alto, Mountain View last week subdued the league’s other perennial powerhouse – rival Los Altos. The Spartans vanquished visiting Paly 10-8 Sept. 19 and stunned host Los Altos 12-8 Thursday.

Although coach Gabor Sarusi described both games as “important wins,” he doesn’t want his undefeated team (3-0 division, 8-0 overall) to get overconfident.

“I hope they understand it’s early,” he said, “and we have to take everybody seriously.”

It’s a good bet the Vikings and Eagles are taking the Spartans seriously after what happened last week. Mountain View lost both regular-season games against Paly last season – before beating the Vikes for the first time in three years, in the league playoffs – and routinely lost to rival Los Altos. The Spartans’ previous win over the Eagles came well before Sarusi came aboard as coach last season, and he doesn’t believe Los Altos had lost a home league game in nine years.

That changed Thursday. Mountain View jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter, withstood a rally by the Eagles in the middle quarters – who tied the game at 7 in the third – and dominated the fourth.

“We played really good team defense,” said Sarusi, whose squad outscored Los Altos 4-1 in the final quarter. “I believe we can beat anybody with good team defense.”

Goalie Charlie Niehaus totaled 14 saves, a feat Sarusi called “huge.”

Offensively, Michael Magee and Rey Castillo tallied five goals each for the Spartans; Russell Blockhus and Alex Paulsen chipped in one apiece. Magee scored six goals against Paly.

No player for Los Altos (3-1 league, 3-5 overall) managed more than two goals against Mountain View. Paul Bergevin, Ian McColl and Sam Lisbonne each scored twice; Surya Ram and Brian Hogge accounted for the other goals.

Two days earlier, Los Altos thumped Los Gatos 19-9 behind McColl’s eight goals.

Lancers edge Knights

St. Francis held on to beat Menlo 12-11 Sept. 18 in non-league play.

David Freudenstein scored four goals for the visiting Lancers (3-3), who were outscored 6-2 in the fourth.

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