Alhambra girls fall against Campolindo Polo

Alhambra junior Sarah Exner (center) splits two Campolindo defenders to win her team an ejection of Campolindo’s Carlie Crumbaugh (8) and get her team a man advantage. Teammate Amanda Beattie (not pictured) scored on the resulting man advantage to give the Bulldogs their first goal of the game in the 17-3 loss to the Campolindo Cougars on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (GERARDO RECINOS / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra junior Sarah Exner (center) splits two Campolindo defenders to win her team an ejection of Campolindo’s Carlie Crumbaugh (8) and get her team a man advantage. Teammate Amanda Beattie (not pictured) scored on the resulting man advantage to give the Bulldogs their first goal of the game in the 17-3 loss to the Campolindo Cougars on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (GERARDO RECINOS / Martinez Tribune)

Amanda Beattie scores all three goals for Alhambra’s Lady Bulldog Water polo team in rout on the road against Campolindo

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

The Lady Bulldog water polo team opened their Diablo Foothill Athletic League campaign with a rough 17-3 loss to the Campolindo Cougars, the team that’s won four out of the last five North Coast Section Division II titles.

It was always going to be a challenge to go up against the league’s biggest powerhouse, but not even the most pessimistic onlooker could’ve been prepared for what they saw in the first period of play.

Alhambra had seven total possessions of the opening seven minutes and were forced to dump off the ball into the corner on four of them. On the other two they turned the ball over. They banged in one goal in the period.

Amanda Beattie took advantage of an ejection from Campolindo drawn by Sarah Exner to give Alhambra their only goal of the opening period.

In one sense dumping the ball and getting back to defend, while a negative tactic, did keep them to within two goals of Campo, who scored only three times.

Even in the second period, when they mounted some sort of offense, they only managed to get scored upon via counter attack twice, due in large part to swimmers staying back, prepared to stop the Cougar attack. Goalkeeper Anna Bernard also did a good job of keeping the Cougars at bay despite having so many attackers from all angles.

In the second period, the Bulldogs managed to score twice, and held Campo at bay with only three goals. As is common with top teams, coaches like to rotate players before the half, but Campo still had six strong players in the pool.

Beattie scored two more times as the period came to a close, her third goal of the game came from long range.

It was clear though that the pure size of the pool, and speed of the Campo swimmers was starting to set in.

Alhambra’s swimmers started resting out possessions, not driving as much, and wasting full 30 second possessions simply because they are a smaller team, and used to a smaller pool.

In the third quarter Campolindo reeled off seven unanswered goals. Alhambra’s Bella Hurst had the best of the chances to score in the second half, but she looked clearly tired.

Hurst was one of the few Bulldogs who consistently tried to make driving runs into the crease. But by the time it came to get back on defense, she left a whole that Campolindo’s attackers knew how to exploit with ease and capitalize on.

By the time the fourth period rolled around the Bulldogs were content to just see the quarter off and get back into the locker room and get back to practice for their next game.

The rest of the campaign won’t get any easier, as the DFAL is one of the top in the region for water polo, and the Miramonte Matadors, Acalanes Dons, and Las Lomas Knights all field consistently strong teams.

The Bulldogs will take on the tough Matadors in next week’s DFAL clash on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 at home.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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