In a wild and rowdy game, the Pitman High girls’ water polo team sank the visiting Turlock Bulldogs 10-1 in their first matchup of the season.
“I think the girls did absolutely phenomenal,” Pitman head coach Michaela Solario said. “Home town rivalries are always hard because everyone is so amped up and so pumped up that underdogs can come up and do big things, so we just needed to come out and play our game and we did. We played our defense and it opened up our offense.”
The Bulldogs squad was unable to come away with more than a goal due to the tough defensive effort from the Pride that allowed the single goal in the first half and nothing afterwards.
Pitman led by the first half, 4-1 and they would continue their surge, tacking on six more goals while shutting down the ‘Dogs offense.
A lack of turnovers, missed shots and bad luck became the critical downfall for the ‘Dogs, who are also hurting on the experience side. Maddie Garton, who is the team’s only experienced junior on the roster, injured her eye in the pregame and was unable to play, resulting in a thinner roster for Turlock head coach Sonja Raynes.
“Our one junior that was experienced was injured,” Raynes said. “Garton was warming up and as the cage shifted, she ran into the cage and cut her eye open, so she couldn’t play. Our passes weren’t falling where we wanted them and we had a lot of shot opportunities that didn’t go in. Also, some outside issues affected us, but as far as the game goes, the shots we took were good, they just didn’t go in. Good thing is we have another opportunity to play them later in the year.”
Leading the way offensively for the Pride was Jordyn Kennel, who netted four goals along with Emma Burke, who finished with two.
Turlock’s lone goal came from Natalie Larson, who is playing water polo for the first time after spending most of her years on the soccer field.
“Were going to work on passing and the basics because we have such a young team plus our new gals have a huge learning curve but they are still young,” Raynes said.
Turlock will host Central California Conference rivals Golden Valley at 4 p.m. Monday. Pitman will play Atwater High at 4 p.m. Monday.