Oak Ridge water polo splits with McClatchy
Monday’s non-league water polo matches hosted by Oak Ridge at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pool ended with mixed results.
The Trojan girls lost the early match 10-7 but the boys team swamped the Lions 11-2.
Bryan Cole opened the scoring in the boys game with a powerful shot past the Lion goalie and Josh Verner scored twice more in the first quarter to give Oak Ridge a three-goal advantage.
Cole started the second with a sizzling shot that nearly went through the cage. Trojan goalie Jeremy Chambliss made a multitude of saves as Oak Ridge added three more goals to cruise to the 7-0 halftime advantage.
“Our team communicated really well and we capitalized on opportunities. We just need to continue to play smart and stick to the game plan,” Trojan Bryan Bare said.
With the match well in hand, Troy came out in the third period with a more strategic approach. Verner added another goal, followed by Jeremy Levine’s score to bump the lead to 9-0 before Steven Redford put McClatchy on the board with a goal to end the third.
Bare filled in for Chambliss in the fourth period while his younger brother, Kyle Bare, added another goal to the Oak Ridge total. The Lions squeezed in a second goal in before Verner scored with three minutes left to conclude the scoring.
“We played a team game, passed the ball, played strong defense and I’m proud of what we did,” Oak Ridge coach Don McCormick said.
The girls’ opening match was competitive and a struggle from start to finish. The teams traded goals in the first period but the quarter ended with a 4-3 Lion advantage. The second quarter was a defensive show as each managed just one goal. Oak Ridge sophomore goalie Korina Grava made two lunging saves while on the other end, Lion keeper Hannah Widman made three key blocks.
The score tilted heavily toward McClatchy in the third period as McKenzie Kaplan powered a goal past Grava at the 5:37 mark to put the Lions in front 6-4. With 2:11 left, Xanthe Plescia squeaked a goal past the lunging Grava to give McClatchy a three-goal lead going to the fourth.
With a sense of urgency on the Trojan side, Grava’s save led to a goal in the corner of the cage by Ashley Ullrich that cut the deficit to two. Kaplan quickly answered before teammate Elena Redman added another a minute later to give the Lions insurance.
Kaplan increased the visitors’ advantage to 10-5, all but locking up the win with two minutes remaining. Oak Ridge’s Kirsten Banks-Gwartney scored twice before time expired.
“We just didn’t come to play today,” Troy coach Patrick Foster said. “We had a couple of players play well, but overall, our team didn’t bring the effort needed today and McClatchy beat us. They’re a good team and they outplayed us. We need more movement in our offense and we need to do a better job of finding the open player.”
Leading the Lady Trojans in goals was Banks-Gwartney with three while Kaplan scored four to pace the Lions.
The Trojans host Franklin Wednesday.