Team Ray battles Curtis to 7-7 draw

Nate Rooks lobs a shot on the Curtis goal in Monday night
Nate Rooks lobs a shot on the Curtis goal in Monday night's match at Ray Williamson Memorial Pool. The two teams traded goals for the duration of the game, with the heated contest ending in a 7-7 tie.
— image credit: RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo

The new pool can’t be ready soon enough for the water polo team.

With Curtis scoring a goal with four seconds remaining to tie Monday’s game at 7-7, several members slapped the water in frustration. The pool had to be turned over to the next users so there was no time to play overtime and determine a winner.

Though as coach Mead Trick said, “That’s not a bad way to end it.”

The game started in a bad way for Bainbridge as Curtis scored in the first 30 seconds, then added a second goal two minutes later.

Jon Rochelle halved the margin at 3:14 when his shot glanced off a defender’s hand into the goal, but Curtis answered within 30 seconds when a bad Bainbridge pass created a two-man fast break for an easy score.

Brian Burns opened the second period by lofting a perfect shot from about 25 feet out that sailed just over the goalie’s hands and just under the crossbar. Team Ray tied the score at 3-3 midway through the period when Russell Carroll fed Nate Rooks when Curtis was shorthanded.

After two Bainbridge near misses late in the period - one shot caromed off the crossbar and moments later another struck the left upright - goalie Jacob Whitmore made one of his ten saves with 15 seconds remaining. He immediately threw a long pass to a streaking Burns who beat the goalie for a 4-3 halftime lead.

Curtis tied the score 35 seconds into the third period when a steal resulted in a four on three break. They scored again while Bainbridge was shorthanded, and went up 6-4 about halfway through the period by striking quickly before the defense could set up after a turnover.

But Bainbridge, which won several early season games by coming from behind, certainly wasn’t out of it.

Whitmore found Rooks for a breakaway goal at 6:05 of the final period, then a minute later Rooks stole the ball from the player bringing it up and beat the goalie with a little arch shot that had just enough energy to trickle into the goal and tie the score at 6-6.

Both teams ratcheted up the pressure as the game wound down. Whitmore preserved the tie by saving a penalty shot at 3:20, and twice in the next two minutes Curtis shots glanced off the right upright, sandwiching a wide-open Bainbridge 10-foot shot that the Curtis goalie managed to save.

Rooks scored his third goal of the period with just 52 seconds remaining to put Team Ray up 7-6. Rochelle’s steal with 30 seconds left appeared to seal the win, but Curtis got the ball back and scored moments before the final whistle as the shot glanced off a defender’s arm and went just beyond Whitmore’s reach.

The previous day, a somewhat makeshift team defeated Central Kitsap 12-4. Rooks had four goals, Burns added two, while Alex Morris, Matt Colley, Jake Christensen, Tristan Stringer, Brad Tuffley and Carroll each scored once.

The team traveled to Rogers yesterday and plays in a league tournament against Roosevelt and Shorewood on Saturday.

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