The Oak Ridge Trojan water polo squads opened the 2012 season with a sweep of visiting Bella Vista Broncos; the girls winning a narrow 4-3 game while the boys came out on top 13-6 Thursday at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pool.
The girls squad, who’s only senior is captain Stefanie Polivka, came from behind to avenge a 2011 loss to the Broncos. The Lady Trojans trailed early on a goal that evaded the outstretched arms of Oak Ridge keeper Korina Grava and another that deflected off a Trojan defender.
Oak Ridge rallied as Morgan Jones got her varsity career off to a great start with a twisting, lefty shot that blew past the Bronco keeper to conclude the first period scoring.
Jones opened the second quarter with a scalding shot corralled by the Bella Vista goalkeeper but two minutes later, junior Ally Greer knotted up the score on a penalty shot. After two fantastic saves by Grava, a Bella Vista shot tipped off her hands and found the back of the net, giving the visitors a fragile 3-2 advantage with just over two minutes left in the half.
Grava redeemed herself with a diving save on a Bronco power play that set up a fantastic passing sequence resulting with a Greer score in the left corner of the net, evening the score at halftime.
“We did a great job on defense throughout, and our offense was able to keep us in the game,” Coach Tim McCormick said.
Each team’s defense shined in the third period. Oak Ridge bottled up the Bella Vista offense, controlling the ball most of the period, but the Bronco’s ‘D’ hung tight. Troy put three shots on goal in the period but two bounced off the crossbar and the last was stopped.
The fourth was headed in the same direction as the third but with 4:29 left junior Danielle Stein took a pass from a double-teamed Greer and blew a shot past the Bronco keeper to give Oak Ridge its first lead. Play slowed until the last minute when Grava stopped two desperation shots and the Trojans held on for the 4-3 win.
“Goals were hard to come by, and we took advantage of that opportunity in the fourth period. (Greer) made a great decision by realizing the double-team was coming to her, and found (Stein),” McCormick said.
The men’s game was much less of a nail-biter, with the hosts taking a commanding lead early on and adding throughout as they swamped the Broncos, 13-6.
Seniors Bryan Cole and Bryan Bare each scored in the first minute to put Oak Ridge up 2-0 and in the second period the Trojan onslaught began with a skipping Cole goal that nearly blew through the net. After a deflection gave Bella Vista its second goal, Carson Willms scored twice and goalkeeper Aaron Taylor made a nifty save on a penalty shot as Oak Ridge entered the half leading 6-3.
Cole scored to at 3:40 in the third period and after a Willms skipping goal, Cole scored again on a turnaround move where he powered the ball through the goalie. Oak Ridge allowed two more goals but added one by Kyle Bare to take an 9-5 lead headed to the final frame.
Nearly 12 seconds into the fourth, senior Cameron Bullock zipped a ball past the Bella Vista goalie and after another Taylor save, Trevor Dong got into the action with a goal. Each team added one more to complete the scoring.
“For the first game of the season, I was happy with our performance. There are many things we need to work on, but it’s a good start to the season,” coach Don McCormick said.