Last weekend, the Cathedral Prep water polo team traveled to suburban Philadelphia to take part in the very large Beast of the East tournament. The Beast of the East tournament consisted of all the water polo teams in Pennsylvania, with additional teams from New Jersey, Maryland, and Ohio.
The first two games on Friday night took place at Souderton Area High School in Souderton, Pa. The first game was against Upper Perkiomen and after five goals in the first 1:40 of play, it was clear Prep would win no contest. By the start of the third quarter all of the team’s subs had had the opportunity to play thanks to a 9-1 lead by the starting team. Prep would go on to win the game 18-8 thanks to 4 goals from sophomore Calvin Behm, 3 from junior Jacob Schmidt, 2 from sophomore Mitchell Cizmek, and 1 goal each from senior Josh Kurczewski and eight other players.
The second game against Souderton was the opposite. With the score tied 10-10 at the half, everyone on the team was on the edge, knowing the game could make or break the tournament. However, Prep was able to gain a 2-goal lead at the end of the third, and win the game 20-19 thanks in part to 5 goals each from Behm and senior Thomas Squeglia, and 4 from junior Anthony Squeglia.
Prep began the second day of the tournament at Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pa., with a 12-7 victory against Landon High School of Bethesda, Md. The victory came thanks in part to 3 goals from Behm, 2 goals each from A. Squeglia and senior David Rahner, and 16 saves by senior Daniel Anthony in goal.
But the prior wins didn’t matter so much as Prep had made it to the semifinals against Cumberland Valley High School of Mechanicsburg, Pa., who Prep had yet to beat in the past four years. The first quarter of the game contained much back and forth action with 2 goals scored for Prep by senior Patrick Steele and T. Squeglia to neutralize CV’s 2 goals themselves. By the end of the second quarter, Prep had gained a 7-4 lead over CV thanks to 3 goals from Behm and singles from Rahner and A. Squeglia. After 2 more goals from Behm and 1 from senior Rex Riley in the second half, Prep had achieved a 10-8 victory over Cumberland Valley, which the team had viewed as the toughest team in Pennsylvania.
Prep was set to take on Wilson HS, the defending state champions, in the final game in their home pool, a game that would be as challenging as the Cumberland Valley game prior. During the first quarter, Prep started the game trailing by as many as three goals at one point. By the end of the second quarter, Prep had only held the lead once and only by a one goal difference. By halftime, the team had run out of steam and was struggling to keep up with the Wilson team who had been well rested for the game. Prep fell 9-8 and the game remains the team’s only loss to date. T. Squeglia and Behm netted 3 goals each and 1 goal each by Steele and A. Squeglia was scored in the loss.
Despite the loss, the team is more determined than ever to fight for victory next time around. The team plans to travel to North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pa., on Oct. 2-3 to take on North Penn High School of Lansdale, P1., and Thomas Worthington High School of Worthington, Ohio, on Friday, and a rematch against Cumberland Valley on Saturday.
A rematch against Wilson High School is expected on Saturday, October 17, in Erie when Prep hosts the Erie Challenge tournament at Penn State Behrend.
In addition, Calvin Behm and Anthony Squeglia; and Daniel Anthony and Thomas Squeglia were named to the first and second all tournament teams respectfully.