Water Dawgs reach finals of East County Invite

By Joe Naiman

Ramona High School’s girls water polo team reached the finals of the East County Invitational tournament before a loss to Westview in the championship match Jan. 26 snapped a team-record nine-game winning streak.

“Winning nine in a row is pretty good,” said coach Donnie Williams.

The Bulldogs, whose previous loss took place Jan. 3 against Torrey Pines, won their first four matches of the East County Invitational to advance to the finals, and also defeated Rancho Bernardo, in a non-league game during the week.

Ramona began the tournament with two Jan. 21 games at the West Hills High School pool. The first was a 15-2 victory over Mount Miguel. The Bulldogs led 4-0 after two minutes, 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, and 11-1 at halftime.

“It allowed our bench to get a lot of time in,” Williams said.

West Hills was the opponent, as well as the pool, in Ramona’s second Jan. 21 game. The Wolfpack scored first, but the score was 2-2 at halftime, and 3-3 midway through the third period.

“We were having opportunities but just not finishing,” Williams said. “We finally started making a couple of shots.”

Ramona led 6-3 at the end of the third quarter and won the game by a 6-4 score.

The non-league game Jan. 22 at Rancho Bernardo’s pool was decided in overtime. Ramona scored the first two goals.

“We were pushing them,” Williams said.

The Broncos scored one goal near the end of the first period and tied the game with two minutes left in the second quarter. The game was tied at three goals apiece after three periods. An early fourth-quarter goal gave Ramona a 4-3 lead, but the Broncos tied the game with three minutes left in regulation.

Late in the overtime period, Rachel Hogervorst drew a penalty shot. Cassie Bernas took the five-meter shot and scored the winning goal for a 5-4 victory.

“The girls played strong,” Williams said.

The win was Ramona’s first ever over Rancho Bernardo.

The Bulldogs returned to tournament play Jan. 25 in Mount Miguel’s pool.  The rainy match against Mission Bay ended as an 8-2 Ramona victory. The Bulldogs led 4-1 after one period and at halftime, and had a 7-1 lead during the third quarter.

Bernas, Hogervorst, Jocelyn Schwegler, and Paulina Bernd each scored two goals. Goalkeeper Tiffany Larson made 10 saves.

“It was a good game for Tif,” Williams said.

Ramona’s two Jan. 26 games were played at El Capitan High School’s pool. Ramona defeated Otay Ranch by a 7-2 score in the semifinal.

“They did a good job of defense there,” said Williams.

Bernas and Schwegler scored the only goals in the first period, and Schwegler’s second goal gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 halftime lead. Ramona had a 7-0 lead after three periods.

Larson made nine saves against the Mustangs.

“They really struggled to make any good quality shots on cage,” Williams said.

Larson added two steals while Bernas and Holly Smith shared the team lead with three steals apiece.

“The girls have been getting a ton of steals, and that helps out quite a lot,” said Williams.

Westview won the championship with an 8-1 victory at Ramona’s expense.

“We didn’t really make enough quality shots,” Williams said. “They were finishing and we weren’t.”

The Wolverines had a 2-0 lead after one period.

“It was a hard-fought game,” Williams said.

Westview scored the first four goals before Ramona had the final score of the first half. A five-meter penalty shot gave Westview a 5-1 lead in the third period, and the score was 6-1 entering the fourth quarter.

Westview was successful on all three of its extra-player opportunities as well as on the penalty shot, while Ramona failed to score on all three of its power plays.

The Bulldogs have another tournament this week; the San Diego Open will conclude Saturday.

Related posts:

  1. Water Dawgs reach finals of East County Invite
  2. Water Dawgs improve record to 7-4 after three straight wins
  3. Water Dawgs finish regular season 14-15
  4. Water Dawgs win three at Vellenkamp Tournament
  5. Water polo team splits matches against Helix, Westview

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