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Skyline junior Jacob Kiel-Locey takes a shot Friday night against Jenison. Photo by Mark McMullen


WATER POLO: Turnovers doom Skyline in loss to Jenison

With two first-quarter goals, the the Ann Arbor Skyline water polo team got off to a good start against Jenison Friday night.

It quickly went down hill from there.

The Eagles turned it over 23 times, resulting in a 13-6 blowout loss to the Wildcats.

“I think, our first quarter, I couldn’t be happier with them,” Skyline head coach Rebecca Godek said. “I wish the games were seven minutes long, but we had a game play, defensively, our first half; we did a pretty good job.”

Having over 20 turnovers for the game, Skyline did turn the ball over themselves with 18 steals, but the Wilcats had just as many. The Wildcats did control the ball well with just 17 turnovers.

“We had over 20 turnovers in the game and I said to the guys after it wasn’t a lack of effort,”Godek said. “It’s going to be hard to win when you have that many turnovers, plain and simple. Probably for every five minutes of play we had the ball in our hands for maybe 45 seconds because we were turning it over so much.

“I think that was the thing that got us the most. Jenison is a very fast team, they’re a big team, they’re strong and they got good shooters. We just couldn’t keep up. After the first half I thought ‘hey down by one we are in a good spot and in the third quarter they took it to us.’”

With 6:20 left in the first half, Wildcat senior Kody Doss received a penalty shot that was initially blocked by Skyline’s junior goalie Blake Hill. Doss rebounded the ball and tipped the ball in for a goal.

“Blake had done a really good job on five meters and there’s a higher percentage of shots that they ended up making because we didn’t rebound it properly,” Godek said. “It’s hard to see and everyone wants to point the finger at the goalie.

“First of all, he saved it and our two field players didn’t rebound the ball and that’s why he was able to get a shot off against.”

Hill finished with eight saves for the Eagles, but his team didn’t help him out in the scoring department as the Wildcats went on a 13-1 run that led late into the fourth quarter.

Looking up at the scoreboard, Godek said it was hard to call a timeout late in the game.

“It’s hard to call a timeout and you look at the scoreboard and you’re down by 10 or more,” she said. “I told the guys don’t worry about the score. The one job you have right now is to finish hard and not give up. That’s what means the most to me right now as a coach. I don’t want to see my players rolling over settling with a loss. As long as I can see that they fought until the last minute of the game, that’s what I consider to be a success.

“I give credit to my guys for doing what they could for being as far down we were. It’s a tough place to be. I’ve been there as a player before and you feel bad. You want to do what you can to help, but they did a good job of keeping their heads up and finishing strong.”

The Wildcats stepped up their game in the second half. One in particular was senior Jason Wesseling who lead the team in goals and assists with four and seven respectively.

“We expect that out of him, but we expect that out of all our guys that go in and get into the water,” Jenison head coach Pete Hewett said. “They’re going to be a threat. We’re pretty well balanced, but at any given time I think any one of those six guys are going to take over, and that’s what Jason did.”

With the win, the Wildcats will face Ann Arbor Pioneer Nov. 16 at 10:30 a.m.

Last Updated: 11/15/2013 10:10:16 PM EST

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