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Lady Trojans defeat El Camino in overtime

By: Special to the Telegraph
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Oak Ridge High’s varsity girls’ water polo team won a tough overtime match on Oct. 15 against visiting El Camino, 10-9. Caitlin Welsch, who scored six of the team’s 10 goals, provided all of the scoring in the first half with four goals. Down 5-4 at the start of the third quarter, Oak Ridge’s Annie Randolph tied the game with a goal from the outside. Trailing again at the start of the fourth quarter, the Trojans’ Amanda Jones scored twice and Welsch once in the period to help the Lady Trojans tie the score 8-8 and send the game into overtime. With both teams playing solid defense, including outstanding goal work from Hannah Abendschein, who had 14 saves in the match, the first overtime frame ended in another tie. A second overtime period would provide a different outcome. El Camino scored first in the second overtime to go ahead 9-8, but Welsch tied the score at nine each with her sixth goal of the game with less than two minutes left. That set the stage for a thrilling final 60 seconds. After an Oak Ridge miss, El Camino called a timeout to set up a play, but the Trojan defense stiffened and denied the Eagles’ go-ahead score. Oak Ridge coach Don McCormick then quickly called a timeout with less than a minute remaining to set up his own play. Coming out of the time out, the Lady Trojans passed the ball around but couldn’t get a clean shot. With the shot clock winding down, the ball was tossed back out to Randolph, who had set up about five meters in front of the Eagle goal. After first looking inside to Welsch near the goal and with the clock about to expire, Randolph fired a shot into the corner of the net to give the varsity women a 10-9 lead with 24 seconds left. When the final 24 ticks began, Oak Ridge’s defense pressed El Camino and denied them another shot as time ran out. “I was really proud of their effort and tenacity,” McCormick said. “El Camino took the lead several times during the match, but the girls always battled back to tie the score. They executed when they needed to and outplayed the Eagles down the stretch.”