Ramona High School’s girls water polo team ended the regular season with both a winning league record and a winning overall regular-season record.
Today’s first-round CIF Division II playoff match will determine whether the Bulldogs’ 15-14 overall regular-season record remains a winning record or becomes a .500 mark, but Ramona’s 7-5 record in Valley League competition is guaranteed. The league won-loss statistic placed the Bulldogs third in the conference standings.
“They came together,” Ramona coach Donnie Williams said of his players, who included only one returning starter from the 2008-09 team. “They improved every week.”
The Bulldogs’ final three regular-season matches were home wins Feb. 9 over Valley Center and Feb. 11 against San Marcos and a Feb. 12 road loss to Oceanside. The 9-7 win over Valley Center required overtime play.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs scored all three goals of the first period, and the second quarter was scoreless. Early in the third period Ramona took a 4-0 lead, and the Bulldogs led 5-2 entering the fourth quarter and 6-2 early in the fourth period.
Valley Center would score the next four goals.
“They actually came back hard,” Williams said. “We had a couple of silly plays and gave up some counterattacks.”
Brianna Hogervorst’s goal gave Ramona a 7-6 lead, but with 20 seconds left the Jaguars scored the tying goal and the game continued with two three-minute overtime periods. With five seconds left in the first overtime Angelina Uriostegui scored her third goal of the game. The second overtime period is played regardless of whether one team leads after the first overtime, and early in the second overtime Marley Munoz scored her fourth goal of the game to give Ramona a 9-7 lead.
“We played good defense after that, didn’t give up any counterattacks,” Williams said.
Emily Rajcic also scored for Ramona against the Jaguars.
The 12-3 win over San Marcos was Ramona’s final home game of the season.
“It was also one of the nicest senior nights we’ve had,” Williams said.
The 2009-10 team has seven seniors: Amanda Carasiti, Kayla Lawlor, Munoz, Taylor Shinnick, Sierra Strohson, Shenoa Wilcox and Shelby Wilson. The seniors accounted for seven of the Bulldogs’ goals with Munoz and Shinnick each scoring three times and Wilson putting one ball into the net. Hogervorst had three goals and Uriostegui scored twice.
The Bulldogs led 5-0 after the first period, 6-1 at halftime, and 8-2 after three quarters.
“We went up early in the first quarter,” Williams said. “Everything we did was working.”
Oceanside’s 10-9 win over Ramona saw the Bulldogs narrow the deficit from a 6-2 second-quarter score.
“At least we closed it up,” Williams said.
Uriostegui gave Ramona a 1-0 lead less than 20 seconds into the match, but the Pirates scored the three other first-period goals.
“All of a sudden they just didn’t play well,” Williams said.
Uriostegui scored all three Ramona goals in the first half. The final one narrowed Oceanside’s halftime lead to 6-3. The Bulldogs closed the deficit margin to 7-6 before Oceanside scored the final two goals of the third period.
After Ramona scored the fourth quarter’s initial goal, the Pirates took a 10-7 lead. Ramona narrowed the difference to one goal with 1:30 remaining in the game but could not place the tying goal into the net.