PREP WATER POLO : Freshman Sparks Foothill to Third League Title in Row

Robby Arroyo is a newcomer to the fierce Century League water polo rivalry between Villa Park and Foothill, but Wednesday the freshman played like a veteran.

Arroyo scored five goals and added two assists to lead the third-ranked Knights to a 14-5 victory over No. 6 Villa Park and give Foothill its third consecutive league title.

The game was virtually decided after one quarter when Foothill (19-5, 5-0) took a 5-0 lead behind Arroyo's play.

He fed Kevin Brantley with a perfect pass for the Knights' first score, then took a pass from Brantley and scored the next with only a minute gone in the quarter. Arroyo added two steals and another goal before the opening quarter ended.

"We came out with lots of intensity," Foothill Coach Jim Brumm said. "That was our best first quarter of the season."

The Spartans (19-7, 4-1), who won three league championships in a row before Foothill's streak, did not score until the third quarter.

The Foothill defense was so tight that on several occasions Villa Park goalkeeper Jon Pharris could not find an open teammate for an outlet pass until most of the 35-second shot clock had expired.

Pharris was eventually removed in the third quarter with his team trailing, 9-1.

The Spartans briefly rallied and cut the lead to 10-4 after three quarters, but Arroyo scored three of Foothill's last four goals in the fourth.

Villa Park Coach Jeff Ehrlich said before the game that his team needed to take 24 shots and make 40% of them to win.

The Spartans made better than 50% of their attempts but were outshot 23 to 9.

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