Bulldog water polo edges Knights for first league win

   A regulation varsity water polo game consists of four seven-minute periods, and Ramona High School’s boys water polo team utilized nearly all of those 28 minutes in defeating San Marcos Sept. 24 to give the Bulldogs their first Valley League win of the 2009 season.

   The Bulldogs, who had lost to Mount Carmel the day before, improved their league record to 1-2 and their overall record to 5-4 with the win over the Knights.

   Ramona’s winning goal in the 11-10 contest was scored with two seconds remaining.

   “I thought they played tough,” said Coach Donnie Williams.

   The Sept. 23 match was also Ramona’s home opener, but Mount Carmel earned a 14-6 road win.  

   “They took it to us pretty early and pretty hard,” Williams said. “They pressed us pretty hard.”

   Williams noted that the Sundevils’ defensive pressure prevented Ramona from making good passes.  Ramona trailed 4-0 after the first quarter and was down 7-0 before scoring the final goal of the first half.  

   “In the third quarter we started to come back,” Williams said.

   Ramona closed the third period with an 8-4 deficit and scored the first goal of the fourth quarter. The Sundevils led 9-6 with three minutes remaining.  

“All of a sudden we just fell apart,” Williams said.

   In water polo an ejection is a 20-second penalty in which the penalized player must leave the pool and the other team competes with a one-man advantage. Ramona drew three Mount Carmel ejections while the Sundevils benefitted from eight Ramona ejections.  

   “We had a few ejections, and that cost us quite a bit,” Williams said.

   Mount Carmel was able to score on three of the eight man-up situations.  

   “They didn’t really score a lot on their man-ups,” Williams said.

   San Marcos was more successful on man-up situations against Ramona, converting four of seven such situations and also scoring on a five-meter penalty shot. The Sept. 24 game was played at Palomar College and began at 7 p.m.  

   “Palomar at night’s a tough pool,” Williams said.

   The Bulldogs scored the game’s first goal, but San Marcos obtained the equalizer. Ramona scored two subsequent goals for a 3-1 lead, but San Marcos put the next two balls into the net and the first period ended with the score tied 3-3.

   Ramona scored the second period’s only two goals to take a 5-3 halftime lead.

   The Knights battled back, and the game was tied at seven goals apiece after the third period.  

   “In the third quarter we fell apart,” Williams said.

   San Marcos led 9-7 and 10-8 in the fourth quarter before Ramona scored with 2:40 and 2:22 left in the period to tie the game.

   After Ramona goalie Marlen Bernd stopped a San Marcos shot, Williams called time out with 18 seconds left.  With three seconds left Alan Williams drew an ejection.  

   “He quickly picked it (the ball) up and Todd (Cope) was wide open,” Williams said.

   Before Cope scored the winning goal with two seconds left, Ramona had converted only one of seven previous man-up advantages.

   “That game was an exciting game,” Williams said.

The Bulldogs will spend tomorrow and Saturday at the East County Invitational tournament.

   
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