Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Emily Goertzen gets a wide-open shot on goal during Wednesday’s 16-9 win over San Joaquin Memorial. Goertzen led the Coyotes with four goals.
The Madera Coyote girls water polo team has had a rivalry with the San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers over the last few years.
However, the last two years have been dominated by the Coyotes, highlighted by Wednesday’s 16-9 victory at McAlister Pool.
“Water polo tends to go up and down like all sports,” head coach Erik Baymiller said. “They are having a down year and it’s our up year. It’s nice, though. We used to worry about these games and stress over it a lot.”
A few years ago, the Coyotes got a last second shot in regulation to defeat the Panthers. Since then, the rivalry has been dominated by the Coyotes. And Baymiller doesn’t see the trend ending soon.
“We are a young team so we will have talent for the next few years,” Baymiller said.
Nine different players scored goals for the Coyotes, led by Emily Goertzen’s four goals. Bailey Hansen added three and Selynna Rosales and Ceaira Chavira each had two.
“The goal was to get the score up in the first and let my junior varsity girls play because they didn’t have a game today,” Baymiller said. “We wanted to get them into the water. We let a little more get by than I wanted.”
In what was supposed to be a Coyote rout, the Panthers scored first, 55 seconds into the game. However, the Coyotes tied the score about 30 seconds later. Goertzen got a steal and fed the ball head to Hansen, who shot into the upper left corner for the tying goal.
Twenty-five seconds later, Emily Lopez got the ball on a breakaway and scored for a 2-1 lead.
Hansen added a goal from the outside on the left and into the upper right corner after a pass out from Chavira for a 3-1 lead.
A minute later, Rosales stole the ball away from the goalie and shot by her for a 4-1 lead.
The Coyotes took control with three goals in the final 1:39 of the first quarter. Chavira started the run by sending a pass up the pool to Goertzen, who shot into the right corner for the goal.
Thirty-one seconds later, Chavira got the ball on a breakaway and shot into the left corner. Twenty-two seconds later, Rosales got a steal and sent the ball to the front and Hansen shot into the right corner for a 7-1 lead.
The Panthers closed out the quarter with a goal at the first period buzzer.
Memorial scored the first two goals of the second period to cut the lead to three, but the Coyotes answered with two goals. With a man advantage, Goertzen scored from the outside. A minute later, Hansen got the ball at the top and sent a shot that went off the post. Goertzen got the rebound on the right and shot by the goalie for a 9-4 lead with 1:18 left in the half.
The Panthers added a goal inside the final minute, but Rosales drew a five meter shot with seven seconds left into the half. She found the bottom right corner for the goal for a 10-5 halftime lead.
Just 41 seconds into the second half, Lola Gill sent a shot on goal. The ball went off the crossbar, but went down and hit the goalie in the back of the head and the ball bounced into the net for the goal.
The Coyotes scored 20 seconds later when Goertzen, on the left, found the far post for a 12-5 lead. Madera increased the lead to 11 when Gabby Ruiz got the ball on the right and sent the ball to the middle. Chavira tapped the ball past the goalie for the goal.
With two minutes left in the third, Maddie McNeil got the ball in the hole set, turned and shot for the goal and a 14-5 lead.
After a Panthers’ goal, Katie Ylareggui got the ball on the right side with no defender. She swam the ball to the goalie and shot into the far post for a 15-6 lead.
Goertzen sent a ball in front for Ashlyn Ortega. With a defender on her, Ortega turned and shot on goal for a 16-6 lead with 3:25 left in the game.
Junior varsity goalie Morgan Keyser recorded five blocks in the final four minutes of the game. However, Memorial closed the game with three goals in the final 2:30 for a 16-9 Coyotes’ victory.