The Lady Rams Water Polo Team had a busy week with local and out of state tournament play. First up for Rockford were the Pioneers of East Grand Rapids. A strong team, EGR has a solid offense and good defense. Rockford would need to match this in order to take control of the match and pull out the victory. The Rams took the game out quickly in the first quarter – with a 3-0 lead. The Pioneers came back in the second quarter –pressing Rockford’s defense. End of the second – Rockford held a slim 3-2 lead. In the third quarter, the Lady Rams took control of the game – scoring 5 goals. EGR wasn’t finished yet – and battled back into the 4th quarter – scoring twice – but not enough to take the game. Rockford won over East Grand Rapids, 9-4.
Thursday the 20th, the Rams played Hudsonville. The Eagles are widely favored to win the state tournament this year and are ranked as one of the top teams in the state. Both teams have phenomenal players with extreme talent so the game was going to be close and very aggressive. Rockford scored first, but Hudsonville then scored right back. The game continued this way until the third quarter when Hudsonville pulled ahead. The Eagles went on to win the game 7 – 10.
The next day, Rockford headed to Chicago, IL for the annual Stevenson High School Tournament. This tournament invites the top teams in Illinois and Indiana to play against their counterparts from Michigan. The match play is aggressive, fast, and fun – and a great experience for teams attending.
Rockford faced first the team from Evanston. Coming off the Hudsonville game the night before, the team was pumped up and ready to play. Rockford’s S Fredricks and M Snyman opened the game with goals – leading Evanston 2 – 1 after the first quarter. Evanston fought back in the second – but additional goals by Fredricks/Snyman and M Folcik kept Rockford ahead, 5 – 3 at the half. The Rams continued to build momentum in the final half of the game – with additional goals from A Mitchell, Fredricks, Snyman and Folcik. Goalie L Schuchardt had 16 saves. Rockford won 9 – 4.
Next up for the Rams was the number one ranked team in Illinois and the host of the tournament – Stevenson. Stevenson High School’s team presented the Rams with fast, aggressive play – and they took control of the game after the first quarter. Rockford matched their speed however – winning every sprint – however the depth of the Stevenson team proved too much for the Rams – with a final game score of 2 – 12.
The next day, the Lady Rams started the morning with a game against another of the top teams in Illinois – Fenwick. Tied after the first half, with goals from Folcik, Fredricks and Snyman, Rockford and Fenwick battled well into the 4th quarter when Fenwick pulled away for the victory. In this physical game, Rockford won all the sprints, and goalie Schuchardt had 15 saves. Final score was 5 – 8.
The final game of the tournament was against Mother McAuley – the second ranked high school team in Illinois. After the close loss to Fenwick, the Rams were warmed up for McAuley and ready to go. Winning the first and second quarter sprint, Rockford scored two goals – Fredricks & Snyman – and found themselves tied with their opponent at the end of the first half. The two teams were locked in physical play in the third quarter – both teams scoring one goal (Snyman). In the fourth quarter, Rockford was able to pass Mother McAuley’s defense and score 2 goals (Fredricks/Snyman). McAuley was unable to score again – giving Rockford the victory 4 – 5.
The Lady Rams travel to West Ottawa on Tuesday the 25th and Grand Haven on the 27th. Go Rams!