Rivera twins steal the show in win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Savanna Rivera rises up for a shot during Wednesday’s win over Yosemite. She led the Stallions with 10 goals while her twin sister, Vanessa, had five.
The Madera South Stallions girls water polo team continued its run through the North Yosemite, thanks to the right arms of twins Vanessa and Savanna Rivera.
Even with a two-point scoring change heading into the fourth quarter, the Stallions held off the Yosemite-Oakhurst Badgers, for a 15-13 victory Wednesday
The Stallions held a 14-9 lead heading into the final quarter. However, the score was changed to 13-10 to begin the quarter.
“The momentum switched many times,” said coach Carlos Velasco said. “We were able to come out with the ‘W,’ so that’s all that matters. There are some things we need to work on. They perfected some things we have been working on for a while. There were goods and bads in the game, but we got what we wanted.”
Savanna Rivera earned her third ejection a minute into the fourth period that left her on the bench for the rest of the game. The Stallions held off the Badgers just enough for the two-point victory.
“When one of the twins is out of the game, it’s crucial for us to pick up the slack,” Velasco said. “We are a team that came from nothing and have been building up and working on this for years with this group. We know we can go through anything, even when things don’t go our way.”
Savanna Rivera led the Stallions with 10 goals. Vanessa Rivera added five goals and April Macedo added a key goal in the fourth quarter.
“I have been coaching them since they were freshmen,” Velasco said of the twins. “They have grown from amazing athletes to even better athletes than I can imagine. I can’t wait to see what happens in the future.”
The Badgers scored the first goal 15 seconds into the game. However, Savanna Rivera scored a goal with a long shot into the upper right corner to tie the game.
Rivera, with another outside shot, found the upper right coenr for a 2-1 lead. However, 12 seconds later, Yosemite scored off goalie Abigail Clark’s hands. She recorded nine saves to help keep the match close.
Madera South earned a five-meter shot and Rivera found the lower left corner for a 3-2 lead.
Vanessa Rivera scored from the left side for a two-goal lead. Yosemite answered less than a minute later in front, but the Rivera scored inside the left post 12 seconds later for a 5-3 first period lead.
Savanna Rivera scored in front on a one-on-one opportunity for a 6-3 lead 22 seconds into the second period.
Rivera added a no-look, five-meter shot inside the right post two minutes later. Yosemite answered with a goal a minute later.
Rivera scored on another five-meter shot into the lower left corner. Yosemite cut the lead to 8-5 at the half.
Yosemite cut the lead to two with a five-meter goal. However, the Stallions answered 14 seconds later when Savanna Rivera found her sister in front. Vanessa scored on a quick shot.
Yosemite came back with a goal 18 seconds later to cut the lead to two.
Savanna Rivera played give-and-go with Victoria Herd for a goal inside the near post for a 10-7 lead.
The Badgers scored back-to-back goals to cut the lead to one.
Vanessa Rivera scored in front with a quick shot for a two-goal lead. Less than a minute later, Savanna Rivera got a one-on-one, turned inside and shot inside the near post. Twenty seconds later, Rivera made a good catch on a pass. On the way down, she turned and shot on goal for a three-goal run and a 13-9 lead.
Alondra Preciado drew a five-meter penalty in front and Rivera scored inside the right post for a 14-9 lead with 43 seconds left.
However, after a consultation between scorers, Madera South led 13-10. The Stallions added to the lead when Herd found Mecedo on a right. Macedo shot inside the near post for a 14-10 lead.
Yosemite added a goal 23 seconds later, but Vanessa Rivera shot into the upper left corner for a 15-11 lead.
The Badgers scored two goals in the final three minutes of the game. They had chances in the final two minutes, but the Stallions’ defense kept the Badgers off the scoreboard for a 15-13 win.