Wednesday marked Senior Night for Turlock High's varsity girls water polo squad as they hosted Pitman at the Pride's pool, while theirs gets fixed, in a wild crosstown rivalry that saw both teams exiting the Central California Conference with a bang.
There were dramatic momentum shifts, but in the end, the Bulldogs of Turlock edged out the Pride after a second half surge that saw them taking the 8-6 win, and tying Merced for third place in league.
“Very happy, considering some of the issues with not having a pool and going back and forth here and there, some of the kids were frazzled not being at their home pool on Senior Night, but it's still Turlock, it's still a game in Turlock,” said Turlock head coach Anne Cornell.
“You always want to leave the season with a win. You never want to lose that game, but it happens, it is okay. They tried so it is all that matters, we were in it,” said Pitman head coach Erica Crain.
Pitman did more than try, they led for a solid portion of the first half.
The Pride ended the year with a CCC posting of 5-7, with four of the CCC losses by four points or less. Three were decided by three or less.
On Wednesday, the Pride took a 2-1 lead over the 'Dogs who were coming into the game with the opportunity of getting a playoff berth by winning their final game.
The Pride led 3-1 just one minute into the second, before Turlock surged with back-to-back scores from Lauren Stewart and Caitlin Cornell, both within 32 seconds of each other.
With 1:01 left till halftime, Hannah Pimentel drilled a goal to take a 4-3 lead just after her teammate goalkeeper Nellie Screen made a key penalty save.
Turlock took the lead with 6:15 on the clock in the third after Kelly Weber drilled a shot to tie it at 4-4.
From that point on Turlock never trailed again, but they did see a tie in the fourth.
Just before that, Allison Serratos and Stewart each added a goal while Pimentel nailed another left corner shot that saw Turlock leading 6-5 heading into the fourth.
Gabby Sotomayor of Pitman wasted no time tying the game at 6-6 with 4:04 left in the game.
Turlock was able to draw another penalty shot and Serratos tucked it inside the right corner to give them a goal lead and the defense held on while they added a second score on offense with 1:30 left.
With the win, Turlock now awaits their fate to be decided by a coin toss to see if they advance into the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs.