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Riverside Poly makes triumphant return at Five Counties water polo tournament

By in Press Enterprise on January 14, 2018

By Eric-Paul Johnson

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside Poly girls water polo team squandered several chances to build a big lead during the first quarter of the Five Counties Tournament championship match Saturday afternoon.

The Bears had no such problems putting the match away in the final period.

Riverside Poly scored the final five goals, three coming on counterattacks, to defeat La Quinta 9-4 for the championship. It marked a triumphant return for the program, which was making its first appearance in the Five Counties Tournament in five years.

“We started off slow in both matches today,” Riverside Poly coach Mike Cardey said. “Things eventually clicked though. Our swimming helped us take control in the end.”

Cardey talked before the match about his team’s struggles in 6-on-5 opportunities, and they extended in Saturday’s championship. Poly went 0 for 7 during the first half and 1 for 10 in the match when it had a player advantage. With those poor numbers, it was not a surprise the Bears found themselves trailing La Quinta 3-1 at halftime.

Poly got its counterattack going in the third quarter, and the Bears scored goals on three consecutive possession to take the lead. Mikka Von Scherr scored La Quinta’s fourth power-play goal late in he third period to tie things up at four goals apiece.

The final seven minutes belonged to Poly.

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