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Lady Pride polo rolls over Johansen in opener
Pitmans Samantha Rodriguez gets in the face of a Johansen player during the third period of Wednesdays home opener. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Hard work and dedication are the qualities that first year head coach Erica Crain is expecting from her Pitman High girls’ water polo team this season and that is what they gave her in Wednesday's season home opener when they hosted Johansen.


Pitman dominated the pool from the onset and they never failed to back down or make mistakes as they spread the wealth around and thumped the Vikings, 14-3.


“It’s always good to start with a win, even if it’s a nail-biter or whatever, it’s a confidence booster before we hit league. It’s good for them, they need it,” said Crain, whose team defeated Sonora the previous night 12-9.


The Pride and Vikings were battling in a tight first period that eventually ended in a shutout by both sides, with neither side getting any comfortable opportunities.


Although as time expired, Kaleigh Mills launched a shot but unfortunately it was saved.


The momentum shifted over to the second period for the Pride who notched their first goal with 5:39 left till the half as Jessica Hamilton struck the team's first goal.


Ciarra English found herself in a 1-on-1 situation and although the first shot was saved, the rebound was tapped in by the half, and by the end, English notched two goals and the Pride were up 4-1.


“The girls did everything I asked and put it away when it counted and that's all I could ask for,” said Crain.


In the third, the team came out and was smoking red hot from the beginning, outscoring the Vikings, 9-1 in the third period alone.


English notched three of her five in the third and Audrey Morgan finished with three — all of which were scored in the third. Eventually the defense did not allow the Vikings to get comfortable for the remainder of the game and that was enough to seal the win.


“The thing I take from this game... confidence. They are doing everything we practiced and finally put it together and I think for them that is a big thing doing well offensively and defensively as well,” Crain added.


Pitman's next game will be at home against Atwater in the league opener at 3 p.m. Thursday.