By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School boys water polo coach Donnie Williams was pleased with how the Bulldogs played as a team during their Sept. 25 match at Westview even though the Wolverines prevailed by a 16-7 score.
“I thought all the guys did a good job playing together,” Williams said. “I thought all in all how our guys played together was great.”
Ramona had 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first period, which ended with Westview holding a 3-2 lead after a Wolverine score late in the quarter. Westview extended its lead to 7-2 during the second period and had a 9-5 halftime cushion.
“They kind of took it to us pretty early,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs scored the initial third-period goal, although Westview regained the four-goal lead and then scored twice in the quarter’s final 35 seconds to take a 12-6 advantage into the final period.
“They’re a pretty strong program,” Williams said of Westview. “They were really a tough team. They played a lot together this summer.”
Ironically, one of Williams’ concerns about being a team rather than reliance on an individual player was exposed in the match against Westview. Jesse Reiling, who led the team with four goals in the Bulldogs’ 8-7 win Sept. 10 and nine goals in Ramona’s 15-14 triumph Sept. 7, was held scoreless.
“They shut down Jesse pretty well,” said Williams.
Garrett Klem scored three of Ramona’s goals and also had three steals. Ryan Hall, Spencer Schwegler, Levi Vermeulen, and Thomas Abbott each scored once against Westview.
Despite allowing 17 goals, Ramona’s goalkeepers combined for 10 saves. Taylor Holas stopped six shots and Jack Sundberg captured four Wolverine attempts.
Holas and Sundberg also received a lesson from their Westview counterpart.
“Their goalie was good enough to put the ball where they needed to on the counterattacks,” Williams said.
In non-cohesiveness matters, the Bulldogs also struggled with exclusion fouls in the penalty area; Westview converted five of seven five-meter shots.
The loss gave Ramona a 5-4 record. The Bulldogs will have another non-league match at a Palomar League pool Thursday when Williams and his squad travel to Mt. Carmel.