NORTHEAST GLENDALE — When the girls' water polo teams from host Hoover High and Arcadia met in a Pacific League match on Thursday, both teams experienced difficulty with defensive positioning, passing, keeping possession and, ultimately, scoring.
The difference was that the Tornadoes' fundamental malfunction was more severe and, whereas the Apaches eventually got pointed in the right direction, never rectified.
Only able to hold off Arcadia for so long in waiting on its absent offense, Hoover was shut out, 9-0, to remain winless in league.
"I think we came out a little too excited and we started doing things we haven't done since the beginning of the season. We were just trying way too hard," said first-year Hoover Coach Kevin Witt, whose team fell to 1-10 and 0-5 in league. "We've made some really good strides in practice and in past games, but we looked like we were trying way too hard and we weren't working for each other. We were working for the end result rather than the process."
There was no score for nearly four minutes to begin the match until Arcadia's Dione Lee snapped the drought at the 3:05 mark of the first period. Lee had her initial two-meter attempt blocked by Hoover goalkeeper Jasmine Trinidad (seven saves), but she beat Trinidad to the rebound in the corner and then swam back to the cage to score easily as Hoover's field players had already vacated the area on their counter-attack.
It was just one of many breakdowns for both teams in the first half, which didn't feature any more scoring until the Apaches (1-4 in league) ran off three straight inside the final three minutes of the second quarter.
Down by four goals at halftime, a quick start to the third quarter might have been enough to get the Tornadoes back into it, but the reverse scenario transpired instead.
Foiled by turnovers, Hoover didn't get its first shot attempt of the second half until the 3:53 mark of the fourth quarter, by which point Arcadia had taken a 7-0 lead on a third-quarter tally by Sabrina Rademaker and back-to-back scores by Laura Chun to kick off the fourth.
"I'll credit [the Apaches], they were helping all over the pool," Witt said. "Our girls were holding onto the ball for longer than they needed to. ...It wasn't the one-on-one steals, it was their help defense that was creating a lot of their turnovers."
Soseh Didarloo, Teni Danoukh, Perni Movsesian and Se Yeon Kim all recorded shots on goal for Hoover in the fourth quarter.