After being held scoreless for the first half, Saline’s varsity girls water polo team scored five goals in the second half, but lost when Skyline scored two goals in the final 50 seconds, to win 7-5.
Audrey Cook led Saline with two goals. Sydney Anderson, Eleanor Smith and Elizabeth Burchart also scored for Saline.
The first half was a defensive struggle. Saline senior Katie Wagner made several stops in goal during the opening minutes. At the other side, Skyline’s goalie played well – aided by helpful goalposts and crossbars. Skyline opened the scoring with a goal by Madison Deininger with 1:53 in the period.
In the second period, again, the Hornets struggled to find any offense against a speedy Skyline defense. Deininger scored again for Skyline.
Saline was down 2-0 at halftime.
Coach Nate Barnett said the team was out of synch.
“People weren’t getting open enough, making bad passes and not communicating with each other enough. After talking about it a little bit, it kind of clicked a little bit,” Barnett said.
Saline started the second half with a goal by Sydney Anderson. From quite a distance, she lofted a ball that was perfectly placed over the leaping goal, but in the net. Skyline replied with a goal 60 seconds later. Just 16 seconds later, Cook replied for Saline, firing a shot past the goalie to make it 3-2. About two minutes later, Cook tied the game with a skip shot past Skyline’s keeper. The Hornets had seized momentum. Eleanor Smith gave Saline the lead when she stole the ball, swam up the pool and placed a shot into the corner of the goal.
Coach Barnett was pleased by what he saw of his team in the third quarter.
Skyline tied it up late in the quarter with a Saline player ejected. Madeline Lynch scored for the Eagles.
Early in the fourth, Deininger scored to give Skyline a 5-4 lead. About a minute later, Burchart tied the game with a quick shot from in close on the left wing.
After going 14 minutes with no goals in the first half, Saline had scored five goals in a little more than eight minutes. Unfortunately for the Hornets, the offense dried up. The Hornets were unable to to take advantage of an ejection with five minutes to play. Skyline took advantage of a Saline ejection and Alison Lock scored to make it 6-5, beating goalie Lindsay Cain with a skip shot into the corner after the Eagles patiently passed the ball around the zone. The Hornets turned the ball over and Lock scored again to seal the victory for Skyline.
Despite the loss, the Hornets played very well at times – especially in the second half.
“Our sophomore Audrey Cook had a really good game with two goals. Our sophomore Sydney Anderson, our lefthander, got a nice goal early on. Our two senior captains (Eleanor Smith an Annika Olsen in the pool did really well leading our team,” Barnett said.
Barnett said goalies Katie Wagner and Lindsay Cain also played well.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Audrey Cook scored two goals to lead the attack.
- Katie Wagner gave up just two goals in the first half, making several big saves to keep the Hornets in the game early.
- Eleanor Smith scored a great goal after a steal and briefly gave Saline a late lead.