Girls Water Polo: Marauders beat Spartans 15-4

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Strathmore is outgunned against a Monache scoring machine who has scored 60 goals in a three-game stretch

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

PORTERVILLE – In final preparation before beginning East Sequoia League (ESL) play the Strathmore Spartans scheduled a pair of inner district rivals, the Porterville Panthers and the Monache Marauders.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Spartans (6-2) lost to the scoring machine that is the Marauders (6-5) 15-4 in the second of the two games.

“It was a tough game, Monache is really strong,” said Strathmore head coach Monty Newkirk. “We just had to work and I was really happy with their performance and how they played.”

Coming into this game the Marauders had scored a total of 45 goals in their last two contests. On Sept. 5 they downed the Golden West Trailblazers at home 24-4, which were the only points given up by the Marauder defense during that stretch. Two days later they defeated the Sunnyside Wildcats 21-0.

So Coach Newkirk’s concerns that his team was outgunned entering the game were valid.

And those concerns turned into a reality when the Marauders opened up the game with four goals in the opening quarter. On every offensive possession for the Marauders during that first quarter the Spartans were either playing catch-up or out of position.

That gave the Marauders free range to score from both inside the middle of the Spartan offensive zone and outside the 10 meter mark.

Then when the Spartans were able to go on the attack there was rarely an instance when there was not a Marauder defender within arms reach of them. That tight of coverage created two problems for the Spartans: the overall difficulty getting the ball into the offensive zone; and then when they were able to, the inability to get off a clean shot to the Monache goal keeper.

Multiple times during the game the Spartans’ goal keeper Kallysta Cox had to hold the ball for 10 seconds or more while her teammates tried to gain some separation in the offensive zone.

“That concerns me,” said Newkirk. “That is one of the big problems that we have to work on.”

But when the Spartans were able to set up their offense the goal was to get the ball to one of their leading scores, either Madison Bower or Sam Dieterle. Bower primarily played in the middle but constantly had defenders on her. In the second quarter she drew a five meter penalty shot and made it count for the second goal of the game.

“[Madison], Sam, and Hannah Hartsell contribute a lot of offense,” the coach said.

The Spartans first goal came earlier in the second quarter when Hartsell skipped a 10 meter shot in which made it 5-1 Monache.

Dieterle scored the other two goals for the Spartans during the second half which gave them the final score.

Even after suffering such a dominating loss Coach Newkirk’s confidence that his team is going to do fine when they open ESL play tonight at the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears (7-3) is not shaken.

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