The Moore League girls’ water polo season started with an exciting matchup on Monday afternoon on the West Side, as Jordan came from behind for a 5-4 victory in a 710 Rivalry game with Cabrillo. After months of waiting to see if water polo would even be played this season, it was a quick turnaround for players and coaches to get prepared for a shortened season.
“It’s awesome to see them get out there, especially our seniors. For them to get out there in two weeks to play it up and go for it was exciting,” said Jordan head coach Kelsey Schafter. “I’m proud of them. We haven’t had a ton of pool time, we’ve had two practices a week since everything opened up, but they went out there and dug deep in their hearts and worked hard, and that’s all you can really ask of a team.”
Jazmine Dediego scored four goals for the Panthers, including the game-winner with 1:11 left to play. Ashonte Wilson made 11 saves in the cage and Genesis Mata was the other goal scorer for Jordan.
“It was really exciting, especially after thinking we weren’t going to have a season, it was really fun,” said Dediego after the game. “The thing that was in the back of my head was to keep going and pushing myself, because we only have four games so I wanted to make the most of it.”
The Jags got two goals apiece from Jenny Topete and Esmerelda Torres, while junior Alondra Nunez had a strong performance in goal with 12 saves on the day. Cabrillo head coach Emily View was happy with her team’s performance, and especially Nunez’s performance in the cage.
“I thought they played really well, it’s probably one of the best games they’ve ever played,” said View of her team. “They worked as a cohesive unit, talked to each other, and helped each other on defense, so it was a good game. It was a great way to start the season.”
The teams traded goals in the first half until Topete scored back-to-back goals—including a five-meter penalty—in the final 2:01 of the half to give Cabrillo its first lead at 3-2.
After halftime, the Jags took a 4-2 lead on a goal from Torres with 4:17 left in the third quarter. It was the largest lead of the game, but the Jags were unable to score the rest of the game as Jordan fought their way back.
Mata pulled the Panthers within one by scoring with 2:00 left in the third quarter, and it was Dediego who took the game over in the fourth. She earned a penalty with just over 5 minutes to play, but was denied on a terrific stop by Nunez in goal. Dediego would not be deterred, however, and scored the game-tying goal 90 seconds later to make it a 4-4 game.
With the game tied, Mata lofted a great entry pass inside for Dediego, who turned and fired a shot into the goal to put the Panthers in front for good, 5-4. On the defensive end, Wilson had five saves in the final quarter to keep the Jags from scoring and help Jordan secure the win.
Jordan (1-0) will be back in action on Wednesday, facing Lakewood in the Cabrillo pool. The Jags (0-1) will also face Lakewood in their next game on Saturday, March 13.