Trojan water polo teams open playoffs with wins

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Oak Ridge High’s water polo teams successfully opened the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs by winning their first games.

The varsity boys, seeded eighth, opened the playoffs Wednesday with a 14-9 win over ninth-seeded Gregori. Jordan Phen had a strong game with four goals, while John Dutra and Garrett Hassian each scored three. Preston Jamieson and Caleb Thoms added two goals apiece, while Drew Day was solid in goal.

“Gregori is a team that matched up well with us, so we were looking forward to this game,” Oak Ridge coach Patrick Foster said. “We played together and we never gave up. I thought John came to play, and Jorden had a good game. Our offense is finally coming together. Earlier in the season, we were afraid to shoot or didn’t take the right opportunity to shoot, but we did well today.”

Oak Ridge advances to play top-seeded Jesuit at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Jesuit.

The varsity girls, seeded seventh, beat 10th-seeded McClatchy 12-3 on Tuesday. Rachael Kowalchick scored seven goals, while Taylor Carlson, Amelia Otero, Chloe Nichols, Lauren Tilley and Elizabeth Fomine also added goals. Kate Green-Jones made 10 saves in goal.

“We played awesome,” Foster said. “Rachel, Lauren, Chloe and Kate led us and all contributed and kept the offense and defense moving.”

Oak Ridge advances to play second-seeded St. Francis at 6:15 p.m. today at Jesuit High School.

For both the girls and the boys, winning their next games will be a tall order.

“For the boys, everybody will absolutely have to play their best game and that will give us a slight chance,”  Foster said half-jokingly. “It’s the section playoffs so anything can happen.

“We feel a little better about the girls against St. Francis. If we all show up and play well, hopefully we can give them a good run.”