By Uriel Ortega |Staff Writer|
The Coyotes women’s water polo team suffered two defeats last weekend at the Redlands Mini-Tournament, losing to the Chapman Panthers and the Redlands Bulldogs.
The Coyotes had their hands full, facing off against two of the top ranked division III teams to start the season.
Coach Sarah Reneker and her Coyotes had been preparing for the mini-tournament for three weeks to confront two very worthy opponents.
“We have been doing a lot of conditioning and have a small squad this year, but it’s beneficial for a lot of four-on-four scrimmaging, and we are looking to come out and put everything we have been working on into play,” said Reneker.
The Coyotes started their season opener against No. 7 ranked Chapman University, but were unable to slow down the Panthers as they dominated the Coyotes offensively in a very lopsided match, as the Panthers would win 11-1.
In the first period of the game, the Panthers put up seven unanswered points, overwhelming the Coyotes.
Coach Reneker could be heard encouraging her team as they came out for the third period.
In the third period, the Coyotes fought back, only giving up one goal, but still failed to convert any goals on the offense.
Junior goalkeeper Madison Morris had her day cut out as she held off Chapman with various blocks and played an exceptional game with 12 total saves against the Panthers.
With the Coyotes down 8-0 to start the forth period they would have eight minutes to rally back from such a deficit, but the Panthers never let up and immediately scored again for a 9-0 score.
But in the final minutes of the game junior Crystal Curran would score for the Coyotes, avoiding a shutout.
The second round of competition, the Coyotes would face off against the No. 3 ranked Bulldogs.
The game that would be decided in the final minutes with an exciting finish. Both teams fought it out all the way to the last second.
The Coyotes battled hard against the Redlands Bulldogs, but were unable to put them away as the Bulldogs rallied back to take the win in the final minutes of the game with a 13-10 victory over the Coyotes.
The game began with the Bulldogs quickly jumping to a 4-1 lead in the first period, but the Coyotes would answer back keeping the Bulldogs with in reach, and would finish the half trailing 7-4.
In the second half of action, the Coyotes would close the gap to be within one point trailing 11-10, but the Bulldogs would rally back and finish off the Coyotes by firing two more goals of their own to advance their lead for a 13-10 win.
Senior Alison Glaser led the team with four goals and Curran added three of her own.
The Coyotes despite their loss against Chapman and Redlands still have a whole season to hone their skills and plays so they can become a stronger and better team.