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HS Water Polo: Programs Make Their Last Pushes as Regular Season Play Draws to an End

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 09/20/2023

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The water polo teams dove back into the pool as the 13-6A march came to an end. A marquee War of the Woods and a matchup between the Tigers and War Eagles made up the Wednesday slate. The standings were set after play, but strong finishes could provide momentum during postseason play.

Here are the games from Wednesday’s action.

Match One: The Woodlands Lady Highlanders 11 vs. The College Park Lady Cavaliers 6

In a wet War of the Woods, both squads came out with passionate play. Neither team wanted to give up an inch, with goalies making their stances in the early going. College Park tried to utilize breakaway opportunities for advancing attackers but failed to connect on their long passes. Methodical passing by the Lady Highlanders led to open shots near the goal, finally putting points on the board.

However, the Woodlands’ patient attack did not keep them up for long. College Park began matching their opponent, favoring a slower offensive approach that worked itself close to the goal. After the adjustment, the teams ended the half at 4-3, with the lead favoring the Woodlands.

The Lady Highlanders attempted to distance themselves in the second half. The Woodlands penetrated the College Park defense on several attacks, putting pressure on the Lady Cavalier in goal to make a stop. The separation began to build as the Lady Highlanders continued to pressure their opponents down the stretch, ending in a hard-fought win.

Match Two: The Woodlands Highlanders 4 vs. The College Park Cavaliers 6

Both teams entered the match with undefeated district records. The top of the district standings came down to the final game of the regular season, with neither wanting to end up the loser.

College Park set to work in the opening minutes. A series of shots on goal applied offensive pressure immediately. The Highlanders handled the pressure with composure, demonstrating the willpower that both teams would play with throughout the game. This willpower only resulted in a few points. The Highlander’s offense started clicking as the first half ended with them pushing the score to 4-1.

The Cavaliers responded to the deficit with another series of shots at the Woodlands’ goal but finished their attempts with scores. The Highlander lead disappeared in less than three minutes after the start of the half, and it fell on the Woodlands to respond. College Park grabbed a 5–4 lead in the third quarter and fought hard to keep the lead intact.

A nail-biting affair ensued where both teams made aggressive attacks towards goal, with the Highlanders still fighting for a score. As the clock wound down, College Park added a goal for insurance and ended the season as the sole holder of first place in the district.

Match Three: The Conroe Lady Tigers 17 vs. The Oak Ridge Lady War Eagles 6

Conroe jumped to a quick lead to open the day’s third match. Long-distance shots and breakaways in the first quarter saw the Lady Tigers build a 7-1 lead. The palpable momentum fed their team effort as they continued to march on.

The Lady War Eagles snagged a handful of goals before the half ended but remained firmly behind the Lady Tigers by a score of 13-4.

Despite the massive deficit, Oak Ridge continued to fight. The Lady Tigers had brought in the backups during the third quarter but had to bring back the starters due to the pace the Lady War Eagles were playing at. The result was apparent at the half, but a continual effort from Oak Ridge made things look closer than they felt. The Lady Tigers came away with a 17-6 victory that ended both teams’ regular seasons.

Match Four: The Conroe Tigers 6 vs. The Oak Ridge War Eagles 15

In the day’s final game, the Tigers and War Eagles looked to avoid a lopsided result like the one they had watched earlier.

Oak Ridge played an aggressive style of offense, with fast passes and shots that hissed in the nets after goals. Conroe tried to respond by taking care of the ball with short, easy passes but could not stop the flood of War Eagles attacking their goal.

Their attack continued by driving home even more scores. Conroe utilized a time-consuming attack that slowly made its way forward for shots. The changes kept the ball away from Oak Ridge but did not lead to scores for Conroe. The half ended with the War Eagles still in command 8-2.

The Tigers would keep up the fight in the second half, but the War Eagles continued to be too much to handle. Every Conroe goal was equalized by an Oak Ridge goal that kept their lead out of reach. The final buzzer sounded with the War Eagles soaring to a 15-6 win before the district playoffs.

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