Ramona High School’s boys water polo team ended the 2009 regular season with a 12-11 victory Nov. 2 at Oceanside, giving the Bulldogs a final regular-season record of 15-13-1 and a Valley League mark of 7-5, which tied Ramona for third in the conference standings.
“Oceanside played a tough second-round game,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “It was way too close for my comfort.”
In the first round of league play, Ramona took a 16-9 win over Oceanside in an Oct. 14 match. During that contest the Bulldogs led 9-5 at halftime and 13-5 after three periods. In the Nov. 2 match, the Pirates had a 7-6 halftime lead.
“Third quarter we started putting pressure back on,” Williams said.
Ramona took a 5-0 lead before the Pirates scored the final two goals of the first period. Four different players scored for the Bulldogs. Todd Cope placed two balls in the net while Alan Williams, Kari Gonter, and Matt Yturralde had one goal apiece.
Oceanside scored the second period’s first three goals to tie the game. The Bulldogs took a 6-5 lead before Oceanside scored twice more prior to the halftime buzzer.
Ramona scored five of the third period’s six goals to take an 11-8 lead and then scored the first goal of the fourth period.
Oceanside scored the next three goals to return the game to a one-goal margin with 2:30 left.
“The second and fourth quarters we just stopped playing defense,” Donnie Williams said.
In the third period Ramona’s defense only allowed the Pirates two shots on goal, one of which was saved by Ramona goalie Marlen Bernd. Bernd made four saves in the first period, two in the second quarter, and one in the fourth period for a total of eight during the game.
Gonter led the Bulldogs with five goals scored. Yturralde had three successful shots while Alan Williams and Cope each scored twice.
Six different Bulldogs combined to give Ramona ten steals for the game.
“Several of them were from up on top,” Donnie Williams said.
Cope, Gonter, Alan Williams, and Mike Bernas each had two steals while Yturralde and James Oneto obtained one steal apiece.
“We’ve just got to work on more consistency,” Donnie Williams said. “There were times when we played really well.”
Ramona’s varsity had a bye Nov. 4 while the junior varsity and novice squads traveled to Del Norte High School. The Nov. 4 matches also saw Mount Carmel defeat Canyon Crest, giving both of those teams a share of the league title. Ramona shared third place with Valley Center.