The Rockford Rams men’s water polo team opened up their conference season by traveling to Grandville on Wednesday, Sept. 14 to meet the Bulldogs. Rockford played solid tough polo, overpowering the Bulldogs and coming away with an 18-3 victory. Once again, the Rams’ depth was evident as nine different players scored, six players had assists, and 12 different players had steals. Aedion Patino was high scorer with four, Alex Savage led the team in assists with four, and Joshua Travis was the steal leader with four. The Rams’ record improved to 13-1.
The weekend found the Rams traveling to East Kentwood to compete in the Falcon Invitational. Eight teams from around the state faced off on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16-17.
Friday evening, the Rams drew the home pool East Kentwood Falcons. The Rams’ depth once again proved too much for the opponent. Rockford was able to substitute in fresh legs, which led to seven players scoring on the way to an 11-5 team victory. This victory set up an 8 a.m. Saturday rematch with the only opponent to defeat the Rams this year, the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats.
The Rams pulled out to an early lead, but with 4:00 left in the contest, the River Rats clawed back and tied the game at 6-6. At the end of regulation play, the contest was knotted at 7-7, forcing a shootout. Junior goalie Corey Fase blocked the Rats’ first shot. Fase’s block turned out to be the only and deciding block in the shootout.
“I told myself to focus on one shot at a time. When I blocked the first shot I was excited, but realized I needed to stay focused on my job. Our five shooters all scored and we were thrilled to come away with the win,” Fase said.
Fase tallied 14 saves during the tournament.
Rockford carried the shootout for a final winning score of 12-11.
The Rams defeated Jenison 11-3 in their third game to enter the invitational final to face Hudsonville.
In the final, the Rams exploded from the first whistle and never let up, overpowering their OK Red rival 16-4 to capture the title. Senior standout and Ram co-captain, Eric Chisholm scored an amazing “triple double” for the tournament. Chisholm led the Rams with 11 goals, 11 assists and 11 steals. The Ram record improved to 17-1.