Chula Vista, Calif. - The Golden West College men's water polo team is a certified dynasty after winning its sixth-consecutive California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships after defeating the West Valley College Vikings, 9-7, in double overtime.
Head Coach Scott Taylor leads his team to the promised land yet again in a game that was a nail biter from start to finish. In the program's 21st consecutive State Championship game, the Rustlers haul in their 29th state title in program history. Furthermore, Golden West has won eight of the last 10 state championships in men's water polo. They do not look to be slowing down any time soon.
"Every win is sweet," said Taylor. "The commitment this team had to the coaching staff is amazing. They stayed committed and the way they improved from start to finish; I could not be more proud of their efforts."
West Valley was a team that averaged nearly 20 goals per game and Taylor knew if he could utilize his defensive strengths, they would have a great chance at hoisting the trophy at game's end.
"It's the oldest sports line; defense wins championships. They had scored so many goals all year. We knew we would be able to generate goals, but we aimed to hold them to under five goals for the game. I am proud they bought into the system we preached all year."
Building a dynasty is not easy at this level. At best, a coach has a student-athlete for two years and they transfer on to their next destination. For Taylor, it's about recruiting quality over quantity.
"We just try to recruit good student athletes who are motivated to reach next level. And, it's hard for them to come in with this type of history. There is a target on their chest from day one. Everyone is against you and your back is against the wall. We had amazing leadership from top to bottom and I couldn't be more proud."
It was not a cakewalk to the finish line as both teams traded scores throughout the entire contest. Golden West answered first compliments of a score from Augi Macchi. From then on, it was an evenly matched shootout as the teams began to go blow for blow.
Golden West seemed to have it in the bag with under 20 seconds to play until West Valley's fourth string goalkeeper Casey Ocallaghan came up and fired home a score with three seconds remaining to force overtime.
Nevertheless, Golden West was too strong down the stretch as overtime goals from Felipe Ferreira and Srboljub Filipo handed the Rustlers the championship crown.
Three players scored two goals in the game with Ferreira, Macchi and James Dickson finding the back of the net twice.
Release by Nicho DellaValle, CCCWPCA SID