Girls’ varsity water polo falls in tension-filled battle against Novato

Jocelyn Overmyer

The ball pinged off the crossbar, causing a chorus of shouts from the Redwood bench. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Redwood made one final shot attempt. But the whistle blew before the girls could tie the score, handing the Giants their second straight loss. The girls’ varsity water polo team fell 7-6 to Novato on Thursday in a physical, closely-contested game.

In the fourth quarter, tensions were elevated after junior Ashley Lamar was shoved underwater for more than four seconds. After protests from coaches and the crowd, the Novato player was ejected from the game. Redwood used the momentum from the foul to tie up the score at 6-6.

Sophomore Makenzie Allen lunges forward to take a shot on goal
Sophomore Makenzie Allen lunges forward to take a shot on goal

“Anytime there is brutality it always changes the tone of the game because that means that someone had such an aggressive foul that they got kicked out for the rest of the game,” said junior Caitlin Donnelly. “It’s hard to calm [the game] down after that because you’re mad for your teammate that just got hurt. The other team is mad because they got their teammate ejected. It’s anger all over.”

The two teams proved to be equally aggressive, and were tied going into the second quarter. Two goals by sophomore Alex McGregor helped propel Redwood in the second quarter, giving them a  4-2 lead at the half.

Sophomore goalie Katie Treene made many saves to compensate for the slip-ups in Redwood’s defense, especially in the third quarter. However, Novato managed to put two on the board, and went into the fourth quarter trailing Redwood by one goal.

Junior Ashley Lamar looks to pass after manuvering past Novato player
Junior Ashley Lamar looks to pass after manuvering past Novato player

The fourth quarter was filled with frustration from both sides. With the win in reach for Redwood, their offense frantically tried to make up the points in the final minutes.

“We were trying to take the loss from yesterday and put it into a win. And sometimes it doesn’t work out,” Donnelly said.

The Giants next league game is on Monday, Oct. 10, at San Marin.