Team Ray wins one at State -- Sports Roundup

The water polo team opened the State Tournament with a 10-8 win over Rogers on Friday afternoon, but dropped the next four games – the last three by a single goal each time – to finish eighth overall and 10-13 for the season.

Laurynn Wells had four goals in the Rogers win, which coach Jeff Clark termed “really intense.” Kristin Swanson added three goals, Meghan Lockwood two and Natalie Berry – who also had five steals – had one. Goalie Jasmine DuPont had seven saves and two steals.

On Saturday morning, Team Ray dropped a 9-4 decision to Curtis. Berry and Swanson each scored two goals, while Dupont had six saves and four steals.

Saturday afternoon’s 7-6 loss to eventual tournament runner-up Wilson was probably the team’s best game.

“They pummeled us three times in the regular season,” Clark said, twice by more than 10 goals. “We played as perfect a game as we could have played.

“The big thing about that game was that we drew eight ejections after just a total of four in the previous two games.”

The man-up advantage helped Bainbridge – which trailed 5-1 at the half and 6-3 after three quarters – to tie game in the final quarter, only to lose when the Rams netted the tiebreaker with about a minute remaining.

“That started a Bainbridge Island tradition of one-goal losses,” Clark said.

Wells had four goals, while Swanson and Meredith Hong both had single tallies. DuPont had five saves and four steals.

The team opened competition on Sunday morning with a 7-6 loss to Peninsula.

“We got close but we couldn’t hit that last goal,” Clark said.

Wells again had four goals, while Swanson and Wright both scored once. DuPont had eight saves and a steal.

The tournament ended with an 8-7 loss to Bellevue.

“The big thing was that we shut down what is probably the league’s best player and got her out of the game with three kickouts,” Clark said. “But we were 0 for 11 in man-ups, and that came back to bite us.”

Wells led the team with three goals, while Elizabeth Bailey, Lockwood, Hong and Wright all scored once. DuPont had seven saves, and Berry had two steals and two assists.

At the tournament’s conclusion, Berry was named second team All-State, with Wells accorded honorable mention.

The team, which finished with a 10-13 record, loses five seniors.

“That’ll hurt, because four of them are starters and Jasmine was our goalie for three years,” Clark said.

But he remained optimistic about the team’s prospects for next year.

“We have a lot of girls coming back, including Laurynn (Wells), who was our leading scorer,” he said. “Our sophomores and juniors got a lot of playing time. And we have a good JV team that only lost two or three games.”

Kickers close out season

“We had a great game for our final,” said soccer coach Alex von Reis Crooks. “It was a shame that someone had to lose.”

Unfortunately, it was Bainbridge on the short end of a 3-2 score against Blanchet in Friday’s winner-to-state, loser-out game at Memorial Stadium.

“We have nothing to be ashamed of,” he added. “We’re certainly one of the top teams in Metro.”

The Spartans got off on the wrong foot in the fourth minute, on what von Reis Crooks said was “complete luck – or considering that it was Blanchet, a ‘Hail Mary.’ It wasn’t even a shot, just a chip thing toward the goal that (goalie) Eric (Smith) lost in the ball of the sun just when he seemed to have it. It was a bit discouraging, but the boys didn’t take it badly.”

The Spartans tied the score in the 24th minute when Mitka von Reis Crooks passed to Adam Brenneman, who beat both a defender and the goalie. But Blanchet regained the lead with four minutes remaining in the half.

Bainbridge tied the game again in the 55th minute on a Brenneman cross to Kris Ley, but Blanchet took the lead for good 10 minutes later.

“Then we put all the pressure on for the last 15 minutes, but they slumped back into a defensive posture,” said von Reis Crooks. “We had a couple of fantastic opportunities in the last minute.”

The Braves’ goalie made a spectacular save on a shot by Emmet Adam, then Mitka von Reis Crooks’ header sailed just a foot over the crossbar and the Spartans’ season was over. The team finished with 11 wins, five losses and three ties. All the losses came to teams that are in the state tournament.

“Of all the teams I've coached in five years, this is the most enjoyable, the most fair and clean,” said Alex von Reis Crooks.

“We had fun in the bus to the games, and they were never down even in defeat.”

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