Water polo has five-game winning streak

Ramona High School’s girls water polo team pieced together a five-game winning streak before a Jan. 22 loss to Valley Center.

Ramona won two East County Invite tournament games Jan. 19 and defeated Oceanside in a Jan. 20 Valley League contest.  The Bulldogs followed those wins with the loss to Valley Center.

“We were on a pretty good roll there,” said Coach Donnie Williams.  “We just need to understand what we’ve got to do and execute, and we’ll be fine.”

The tournament wins followed league victories Jan. 13 against Orange Glen and Jan. 15 over Canyon Crest.  Both of the Jan. 19 tournament games were played at Santana High School.

The first tournament match saw Mission Bay come back from a deficit before Ramona won in an overtime shootout.  The Bulldogs led 6-2 at halftime and 8-6 after three periods, but the Buccaneers scored the only two fourth-period goals and forced the shootout.  Ramona made three of the five penalty shots in the shootout while Bulldog goalkeeper Jessica Patterson only allowed one Mission Bay shot into the net to create an official 11-9 score and a Ramona win.

Ramona’s other Jan. 19 win was a 12-2 triumph over El Cajon Valley.  

“They just don’t have a lot of experience on their team,” Williams said of the Braves.

Sportsmanship dictated that Ramona focus on practicing plays rather than on running up the score.  

“We worked on a lot of our stuff,” Williams said.

The league contest at Oceanside saw the Bulldogs prevail by a 9-6 score.  Ramona led 3-2 after the first period, 5-3 at halftime, and 7-5 after three quarters.

The win gave the Bulldogs victories in their first three Valley League matches, but Valley Center dropped Ramona to 3-1 in league competition with the 11-2 victory at Ramona.  

“We played well against Valley Center,” Williams said.  “Our offense struggled.”

Valley Center led 6-0 at halftime.  

“We had a lot of opportunities but just couldn’t put anything into the net,” Williams said.  “We hurried things and stuff like that.”

Third-quarter goals by Ashley Shields and Kaylee Nelson put Ramona on the scoreboard.  Patterson made eight saves against the Jaguars.

On Jan. 23 the Bulldogs traveled to El Cajon Valley High School for a tournament match against Canyon High School of Orange County.  Canyon’s squad includes 11 seniors.  

“They were tough.  They were a good team,” Williams said.

The 13-2 loss included goals by Kaylee Nelson in the second and fourth quarters.  Nelson also set a school record by drawing six exclusions in the game, but the Bulldogs weren’t able to capitalize on the 20-second penalties.  

“We just couldn’t make anything happen on our man-up situations,” Williams said.

Ramona’s two Jan. 24 tournament games were played at El Capitan High School.  The first was a 9-6 loss to Rancho Buena Vista.  

“We were in that game the whole time,” Williams said.

The Bulldogs ended their three-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory over University City.  The Centurions scored the game’s final goal with less than 30 seconds remaining.  

“We were pretty much ahead of them the whole time,” Williams said.

The win gave Ramona a 9-7 overall season record.  

“I think the biggest thing for us is that we improved,” Williams said.

   
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