Girls win in water polo but it doesn’t count; boys lose 8-7

Deficient in numbers but certainly not in spirit, the Sweet Home girls water polo team borrowed a couple of players from Marist and proceeded to beat the visitors 8-6 Thursday afternoon.

The boys lost a heart-breaker to the Spartans on a literally last-second goal, that gave Marist an 8-7 victory.

The girls had to forfeit their match because they only had five players, two less than is required to play a game that counts.

But although the five Huskies played the entire match, they picked up where they left off last season as Sami Webb poured in four goals and Niccole Simmonds added two more in addition to two scored by the Marist girls who played for the Huskies.

“Marist is fairly new.” Coach Craig Martin said. “It’s obvious that they had two or three girls who had been playing the game for a while. Compared with our five girls who had playing experience, we were pretty evenly matched.”

Martin credited goalie Cheryl Wilson, who had several saves despite playing four quarters without a break.

“We’re still looking for players,” he said. We still need at least two to fill out the squad, ideally, four or five additional so we have subs.”

He said that new players will find it easier because of the experience on the team all ready, which will take the pressure off newcomers.

“Hopefully there are some young ladies out there who are still interested in coming out and playing a sport,” he said. “Otherwise, we’ll be challenged for the rest of the season. Every game will be a forfeit for the girls.”

The boys led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter and 4-2 at the half, then 6-5 at the end of the third period before Marist evened the score at 6-6 and then at 7-7. With a second left on the clock, Marist’s Marshall Balderstan, who scored seven of the visitors’ eight goals, managed to score and the Huskies were unable to get the ball in play fast enough for a shot of their own.

Gabe Gunselman led Sweet Home with three goals, while Cory Martin had two and Alex Stupin and Derek Jaquist added one each.

“I think the boys score really reflects what I think was well-played water polo on both teams’ account,” Martin said. “We had balanced offense and defense. We were able to play with them, with the exception of that last goal.”

The Huskies played Monday at West Albany. Results of that match were not available at press time.

Sweet Home will host North Eugene at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, the girls match going first.

Players interested in giving water polo a try should contact Martin at 367-4053 or 367-8969 or stop by the Athletic Department at the high school.