Sports

Lady Raiders can’t overcome late venue change

sonoraby Alex Miranda
La Habra Journal

Playing at home and playing away can prove to be the difference in a win or a loss and in Thursday’s game it just might have been.

Sonora, scheduled to host their second league match, experienced technical malfunctions at the Sonora Aquatics complex, causing a sudden change in venues.

The Sonora girls’ water polo team fell just short of a win, falling to Fullerton 11-7, Thursday afternoon at Fullerton High. The loss drops Sonora to 4-8, 0-2 on the season.

Creative and unorthodox tactics from the Sonora coaches took center stage in the game. From employing their set as an outside shooter to having their goalie take multiple shots from almost half-tank. Coaches Jim Sprague and Lauren Benson provided a unique strategy that fell one chaotic fourth quarter short of a stunner.

“They’re more aware on defense, they’re looking back to help,” Benson said. “We have played other games where they kind of just face guard and now were starting to look back [to see] that set is okay or if we need to drop back like they do.”

The Lady Raiders capitalized on that tough defense to maintain their deficit at two for the majority of the first half, ending the second quarter down 6-4.

Hannah Wrathall, who finished with three goals in the game, and Sam Husado, with two goals, continued to keep the game close throughout the third quarter.

Nonetheless, they could not gain any momentum as Fullerton and Tessa La Munyon held tight to keep their advantage, 8-6. La Munyon scored 6 goals to lead all players in the game.

The Lady Raider’s defense and speed advantage seemingly vanished in the fourth quarter as a close contest concluded in a rout.

“We had the speed of Jillian [Jacobson] but they started double teaming her so we couldn’t get the ball to her,” Benson said.

On their fourth quarter, Benson said, “Ball awareness and communication [were key], they really needed to talk to each other on offense. They’re open but they don’t call for it.”

Sonora player, Brittany Vasquez expressed similar sentiments after the match.

“There was a lack of communication in the water,” she said. “In practice our coaches like us to communicate but today there were no names being called.”

Sonora will next travel to Buena Park High school for their third league match of the season on Tuesday, January 21.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.