Lack of bench strength hampering water polo

Sweet Home water polo squads took losses to Albany and Redmond last week but showed signs of significant improvement according to Coach Rene Kirkland.

The girls team is competing with just six players and opponents are often playing them five-on-five.

Thursday the girls lost 16-5 to a mixed Albany team with girls from both South and West high schools.

“Nicole Starha scored all of our goals,” Coach Kirkland said. “We had a tough time on defense. Turnovers cost us. We just didn’t get back on defense in time, even after we scored.”

Freshman Katie Jones had a good game and is picking up the game quickly, Coach Kirkland said.

Amber Larsen also had a good game, her first full game in the hole position.

“We moved Nicole out so she could shoot more,” Coach Kirkland said.

Albany’s strong bench allowed free substitutions, while Sweet Home girls had to play the entire game.

Holly Haworth powered the Albany girls.

“She’s fast and tough,” Coach Kirkland said. “She scored six goals for them.”

Saturday the girls lost to Redmond 17-6 at the Husky pool.

Starha scored all six Husky goals in another strong offensive game.

“Elizabeth Anderson had a very good game in the goal,” Coach Kirkland said. “She had some really good saves and passes that helped lead us to scores.”

The Husky boys lost 13-7 to Albany because they allowed Albany to dictate the tempo of the game.

Brendon Johnson was outstanding at goal.

“Chris Bate and Larry Coulter had good games,” Coach Kirkland said. “Larry is a freshman and had two scores. He is a natural player who picks up the game easily and plays hard. He has natural instincts for the game.”

The Husky boys downed Redmond 15-8 Saturday with Chris Bates leading the offensive charge with nine goals.

“Chris did an outstanding job in the hole position,” Coach Kirkland said. “He forced Redmond players into ejections.”

Assisting Bate in the scoring drive was Sean Martin and Frank Coulter with three goals each.

“This was a really good game,” Coach Kirkland said. “We started out kind of rough around the edges, about like we finished up with Albany. After the first quarter, we started picking up.”

The Huskies mounted a strong scoring drive in the third quarter, outscoring Redmond 7-1.

“We had really good defense,” Coach Kirkland said. “We kept getting the ball back.”

This week: The Huskies will host North Eugene today (Wednesday) with girls action starting at 4:30 p.m. and the boys game at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday the squads will travel to North Eugene to play Redmond.