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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Boys Water Polo Subdues Austin High in First Post-District Playoff Game

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  • Looking overhead, Zach Hobbs ’24 prepares to shoot a goal. Hobbs had a stellar UIL season as he placed top five on the roster in goals and assists.

  • Arms reached out, Cole Osborn ’25 stops the ball from entering the net. Osborn placed top five in the state for goalie performance during the UIL season.

  • Shifting his weight against his opponent, Ben Meijers ’25 prevents an Austin High player from easily making a pass. Meijers’ defense helped hold Austin High to just seven points on the game.

  • With two on one, Marek Browarski ’27 tightens his grip on the ball and sends a pass flying. Browarski made a point of setting up goals and assisted on multiple on the day.

  • Concentrated, Freddy Browarski ’24 maintains a firm grip on the ball, ignoring the futile steal attempts from the Austin High defenders.

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On Monday, Oct. 9th, the boys water polo team challenged Austin High in their bi-district playoff game, the first of their postseason. After winning the district title last week, the boys were confident in their abilities to overtake the Maroons. 

Before starting, Head Coach Matt McBrearty and the boys came up with a plan on how to deal with specific Austin players. This included creating a defensive scheme   specifically to stop Kelly Murphy, who was an exceptionally strong shooter and came into the game with 98 goals on the season. During the game, Zack Hobbs ‘24 was in charge of defending Murphy and successfully weighed him down to prevent him from making goals. 

“We had played these guys before and we knew kind of what their game plan was, so we knew how to adapt accordingly,” Hobbs said. “Coach McBrearty decided we needed to put the most annoying person on [Murphy], so we planned to put me on him because we knew he would get frustrated. “ 

In the first quarter, Captain Freddy Browarski ‘24 led the charge by scoring three goals, putting the Warriors up early. However, the Austin defense was solid and the Warriors had a difficult time getting past them without running out the shot clock. Forced to adapt, the Warriors found a strategy that widened an opening for the set player to score a goal. 

“On offense, we did a lot of drives very well, which is something we had been practicing regularly over the course of our practices,” Hobbs said.“It was good to see that executed during the game.” 

Getting down the length of the pool faster allowed for more time to look for quick passes. This efficiency worked in the Warriors’ advantage as by the end of the third quarter, the combined efforts of Browarski, Jack Beneviste ‘24, and Ben Meijers ‘25 had pushed their goal count of 10 to double the Maroons’ 5. Though Austin continued to inch forward on the scoreboard, the Warriors fought to match them, even earning a 5-meter penalty shot as the Maroons made faulty plays near the end of the game. With a minute left on the clock, Beneviste made the final goal and pulled the score to 14-7, concluding the end to a victorious night. 

The Warriors will compete next on Friday, Oct. 13, in their second playoff game versus Davenport.

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About the Contributor
Valerie Zhang
Valerie Zhang, Reporter
Class of 2024
Because of writing, the spontaneity of ideas that pop into my head in the middle of the night has transformed me into a night owl. Throughout the late hours, I cultivate my obsession with period dramas, sports animes, and pictures of swim practice sunsets. Other hobbies include learning languages, lifeguarding, and sleeping!

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