By Joe Naiman
Palomar League play began for Ramona High School’s boys water polo team at Poway on Oct. 4, but the Titans took a 19-10 victory and the Bulldogs then lost a 12-8 home match to Rancho Bernardo Oct. 6.
“I thought we had chances and opportunities to be successful in both of them,” said Coach Donnie Williams.
Poway scored the game’s first three goals and led by a 6-2 score after the first quarter.
“We were getting beat not playing defense on the counterattacks,” Williams said.
The Titans led 12-5 at halftime with John Koning scoring seven of those goals before being rested for the second half. Poway had a 16-8 lead after three periods.
“We still weren’t playing solid defense,” Williams said.
Ramona scored in three of eight man-up situations.
“We did some good things,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs gave up goals in four of Poway’s nine extra-player opportunities.
“We could have been a little better there,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs squandered a pair of three-goal leads against Rancho Bernardo — which meant they were able to obtain such leads. Ramona scored all three first-period goals, and although the Broncos tied the game with the next three goals the Bulldogs had a 6-3 halftime lead.
“We started off hard,” Williams said. “We were making our passes.”
Rancho Bernardo scored all five third-period goals to take an 8-6 lead.
“We just fell apart a little bit in the second half,” Williams said. “In the second half they started pressuring us.”
Ramona scored only once during five man-up situations. The Broncos scored on five of eight such opportunities, and four of those goals were within the first six seconds of the penalty which lasts 20 seconds in the absence of a goal against the penalized team.
“We’ve got to do a better job of playing that kind of defense,” Williams said.
The losses gave Ramona a 4-7 overall record along with the 0-2 Palomar League mark. Ramona hosts Westview today and travels to Orange County for this weekend’s Vellenkamp Tournament.