Arroyo Grande had the momentum Tuesday. Then Righetti senior Cy Cabanas scored at the 5:40.08 mark of the fourth quarter.
That Cabanas goal put Righetti ahead 12-10. The Warriors did not comfortably stay ahead thereafter, but they did stay ahead and notched a 14-11 win over the Eagles at Righetti in the PAC 8 League opener for both teams.
Righetti, winner of seven straight league titles, is 2-0 overall. Arroyo Grande, the last team to deny the Warriors a league title, is 0-2 overall.
The Eagles cut what had been a 10-6 Righetti margin to 11-10. Then Cabanas edged away from pressure, unleashed a shot and scored.
"Actually, we work on that all the time in practice," Cabanas said afterward.
"You shift as you have the ball and look for an angle. That's what I did. I shifted as I had the ball. I saw an opening and I took it."
Righetti co-coach Kyle Shaffer said, "That was a big goal. It broke their momentum.
"They did a very good job against us," said Shaffer. "They scored 11 goals. That doesn't reflect well on our defense. They drew a lot of exclusions, they scored on their power plays and we didn't score on a lot of ours.
"Intensity-wise, I think they actually had more than we did. Give a lot of credit to them on this one."
Arroyo Grande couldn't get within a goal again after the Cabanas goal. Tony Rubalcaba tallied for the Warriors to make it 13-10, and Ryan Trenev made it 14-10 at the 3:37.07 mark.
Scott Adams scored for the Eagles on a power play with 3:16.55 left. That was it for the scoring. Trey Watkins helped lead a Righetti defense that denied the Eagles as they were trying down the stretch to catch up.
Noah Wasylychyn scored all of his four goals in the first half to help the Warriors to a 10-7 lead at the break. Cabanas, Rubalcaba, Trenev and Ryan Lucas all scored twice for Righetti.
Michael Criswell scored three early goals to stake the Eagles to a 3-1 lead. He was the high scorer for the game. Adams scored three times, and Shane Hoover scored twice for Arroyo Grande.
Righetti scored five unanswered goals to go ahead 6-3. After the Warriors were ahead 10-6, the Eagles scored three straight goals. "We played ourselves back into it," said Arroyo Grande coach Russell Peterson.
"We just couldn't get over that hump. That will be the emphasis in practice next week. Getting over that hump. Having the opportunity to play against a quality program such as (Righetti's) is a great stepping stone for our program."
With Righetti ahead 13-10 there was a whistle, but play continued. A foul on the Warriors was eventually called, and Criswell made good on a 5-meter penalty shot.
Shaffer pleaded his case, the officials conferred, and then one of them had a conference with an experienced water polo official who was in attendance and was apparently overseeing the game.
After he conferred with that official, the game official conferred with the coaches and eventually disallowed the goal. A subsequent Righetti goal shortly thereafter was disallowed because the Warriors were inside the 2-meter line.
"The referees just called different things," Shaffer said of the disallowed Arroyo Grande goal. "There was a call for an exclusion on Arroyo Grande before the other call. Play should have stopped with the call for the exclusion."
Arroyo Grande went six-for-10 on power plays compared to three-for-eight for Righetti.
One Eagles' power play miss came when Righetti was ahead 11-10. The Eagles had five chances to tie before Cabanas scored.
Arroyo Grande goalkeeper Jared Martin helped the Eagles stay close by making 12 saves.
Righetti will play in the Santa Barbara Tournament Thursday-through-Saturday. Arroyo Grande will play at Cabrillo at 2:40 p.m. Wednesday in a non-league game.
Santa Ynez 20, Carpinteria 10
Santa Ynez moved to 4-0 on the season with a win over the Warriors.
Keller Haws and Connor Hiatt each scored four goals while Nolan Morrison and Jacob Thielst each added three. Allen Clarke scored twice while Kyle O'Neill, Henry Allen, Spencer Lee and Jace Grieco also scored.
Santa Ynez goalkeeper Tristan Durbiano made eight saves and came up with three steals.
The Pirates jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first quarter and were up 9-3 at halftime before they cruised to another win, outscoring Carpinteria 6-4 in the third and 5-3 in the fourth quarter.
The Pirates play at a tournament in Corona starting Friday. They'll take on Eastvale Roosevelt in the tournament opener.
“Everything is going as planned right now," Santa Ynez coach Jake Kalkowski said. "We're heavy on defense and we're spreading the scoring around. We'll be tested the next couple weeks. There are some really good teams at the tournament in Corona. We'll face Dos Pueblos and Rio Mesa in the next week.
"But we've been gearing up for this. The kids are playing good right now."