Ramona High School’s girls water polo team won its first Valley League match of the season against San Marcos High School Dec. 15 at Palomar College but was shut out the next day against Mount Carmel in Ramona’s home opener.
The Bulldogs took an 8-1 victory over San Marcos while falling to Mount Carmel by a 14-0 score. The two games gave the Bulldogs a 3-5 overall record for the 2009-10 season as well as a 1-1 league mark.
The San Marcos game was originally scheduled for Dec. 18 before plans to close the Palomar College pool that day forced the game to be rescheduled. Ramona coach Donnie Williams and his team learned about the new date one day before the game. San Marcos does not field junior varsity or novice teams, so travel logistics were necessary only for the varsity squad.
“We had a really good game against them,” Williams said of the victory in San Marcos. “We played a really good job of defense as a whole.”
The only San Marcos goal came with two seconds left in the first period when Ramona was one player down due to a penalty. That goal created a 3-1 final score for the first period. Neither team scored in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs had quality shots in the second quarter only to find that San Marcos had a quality goalie.
“In the third quarter they started figuring out what they had to do,” Williams said.
The game against the Knights gave the Bulldog players, only one of whom had been a starter during the 2008-09 season, experience against a top goalkeeper.
“The next day we matched up with a high-quality goalie with a high-quality field team,” Williams said.
The game against Mount Carmel was scoreless until the Sundevils scored the first period’s only goal with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
“We did a good job against Mount Carmel early on,” Williams said.
Mount Carmel scored four goals in the first 2:02 of the second period.
“They poured it on pretty good,” Williams said. “They’re a good pressure team.”
After that scoring rampage, the Bulldogs had better luck against the Mount Carmel offense; the score was 6-0 at halftime and 9-0 after three periods.
“I think we learned a lot in that loss,” Williams said.
The Mount Carmel game closed out the 2009 calendar year for the Bulldogs.
“I think we’re getting there,” Williams said. “It’s really about how far we develop.”