Turlock High’s Madysen Howry, Brey Pierce, Stella Romeo and Sadie Bigler each had a hat-trick by the third quarter of Tuesday’s first round match in the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs against River City, and the Bulldogs varsity girls water polo team notched a 17-8 win to advance to the second round.
“Really proud and excited for them that the hard work is paying off and they just earned it. They worked hard for the scoring opportunities,” said Turlock head coach Anne Cornell.
The offense was on fire, but it did take some time for No. 6 Turlock to get things going against No. 11 River City.
River City got the first shot off for the game, but it was Lauren Stewart of Turlock who put her team up first after finding the back of the net within 80 seconds.
Just 17 seconds later, RC tied it 1-1, and 52 seconds later, they went up 2-1.
That would be the first and only time that RC would lead for the game.
Howry notched her first goal with 2:43 remaining in the first to tie it 2-2, then Romeo drilled her first goal in the final 87 seconds of the first to take a 3-2 lead.
Once the second started, Turlock began to roll with goals.
They notched five goals, with five different players scoring a goal in the quarter, all within three minutes and 18 seconds of one another.
Following a strong second, Turlock went into halftime with an 8-4 lead.
Turlock notched seven goals in the third quarter, while four players finished the quarter with three goals for the game and they took a 15-5 lead into the fourth.
“The second and third quarters helped us put the game away and seal it by the girls adjusting and putting it in the cage. We had to work on our body positioning, mechanics and where the elbows and body should be in order to get to the cage, and we shot well,” said Cornell.
Howry drilled her fourth goal with 6:46 left in the fourth and Bigler notched her fourth as well in the final 23 seconds as they were outscored in the quarter, 3-2.
Turlock picked up a playoff win after losing to Oakdale last year in the first round, 8-6.
“We lost to Oakdale last year… that is why we are so excited because we wanted this win,” said Cornell. “Really pleased with the seed and with tonight’s win… Granite Bay is seeded No. 3, and that would be a great game, anything can happen from game to game, day to day.”
Turlock’s overall record is now 23-4.
“After we made adjustments, very happy with how the girls played at the end of the season,” Cornell added.
Next for No. 6 Turlock is a road contest in the second round at No. 3 Granite Bay, at a time yet to be determined on Thursday.