El Toro High School goalie Eric Terwilliger didn't bring the glittering credentials of his Harvard counterpart, Larry Bercutt, into Saturday's Southern Section 3-A water polo semifinal game. But Terwilliger ended up outplaying the 1988 All-American and 2-A Player of the Year.
Terwilliger allowed two goals while Bercutt surrendered 10 as the top-seeded Chargers routed the fourth-seeded Saracens, 13-3, at Santa Monica High. The victory puts the defending 3-A champions into Wednesday's title game against Capistrano Valley, a 7-6 winner over Marina.
"Eric is consistently the finest goalie in our area," El Toro Coach Don Stoll said. "He does it game after game."
Terwilliger gave the credit to his defense.
"Our defense didn't allow too many shots, and the ones they did (allow) weren't quality shots," Terwilliger said.
It was a different story at the other end of the pool. The Chargers (25-5) scored on their first three shots and built a 6-0 lead before Hasan Yardimci scored for Harvard (27-5) just before halftime. But El Toro assured itself of its 13th consecutive victory with four consecutive goals in the third quarter.
"Our coach told us that if the first three shots went it, Bercutt would get down on himself, but if we missed them, we'd be in for a tough game," El Toro driver Ken Nickel said.
Nickel opened the scoring 23 seconds into the game. He finished with four goals, increasing his season total to 91 and breaking the school season record of 88, set by John Dennis in 1985. Ken Nickel's twin brother Bill and J. P. Mathot each had two goals.
"We just didn't play well at all," Harvard Coach Rich Corso said. "This was an old fashioned butt kicking. We were tentative the first 14 minutes."
Brian Border and Ty Stein scored Harvard's other goals.
In the other 3-A final:
Capistrano Valley 7, Marina 6--Paul Felton scored with 3:47 left to break a 6-6 tie and the Cougars held on to win at El Toro High School. Marina (23-8) had a chance to tie the score as it had the ball with a man advantage with 37 seconds left. However the Cougars forced a turnover with nine seconds left. Kevin Eggert scored three goals and Jason Cox had four assists for the Cougars. Kent Schwartz and Bob Hafner each scored two goals for the Vikings.