The women’s water polo were defeated at home on Oct. 18, against San Diego Mesa narrowly losing 10-9 at the end.
Mesa’s speedy attacking moves had seen them leading their host by two goals in the first three minutes before Palomar was able to responded with a goal of their own.
Sydney Thomas soon equalized with an accurate shot, but the visitors stormed forward and fired long range shots to score two goals in a row to lead their host 4-2 at the end of first quarter.
Buckland pulled another one back for the hosts, turning quickly she chipped her shot over the goalkeeper two minutes into the start of second quarter.
The Comets struggled to shut down Mesa’s pace of passing and conceded their fifth when Espinosa smashed her shot in for the score 5-3. Thomas grabbed the home side’s fourth through another fine shot into the near post, but the visitors rallied in attack to score two more goals through Sophia Espinosa to wrap up the second quarter at 6-4.
Half time suggested a more eager effort from Comet’s attacking play and indeed Sydney Thomas directed a rebound shot to narrow the gap and maintain some hopes.
But the visitor’s two-goal lead continued just 30 seconds later when Espinosa fired another curling shot to set the score at 7-5, which proved to be a vital winning momentum factor towards establishing Mesa’s quality to win the game’s tactical battle and preventing the Comets from generating movements from defense to attack.
Inside of 6:45 to go, Laura Mathews smashed her precise low range shot set up by Espinosa’s quick pass at the near post after exposing the Comet’s defense to a loose pressing task that left a gap for Mesa’s key attacking players to combine and finish, increasing the lead to 8-5.
Within a span of ten seconds Sydney Thomas, arguably the Comet’s best player, braced into Kennedy’s turning pass to shoot from the tight angle, while smartly positioning herself around her marker and chipping a nice ball into the net to reduced the gap on the verge of third quarter.
The Comet’s relentless effort to switch the point of pressure from defense to attack had nearly sparked hopes for return when Montgomery pulled a challenge to turn an intense rebound and striking it into the net to make the score 8-7 at the 4:20 minute mark.
But hope was shortly diminished when Espinosa produced a fine double in a quick transitions to snatch their ninth and tenth goals to assure their victory despite the host side’s intense efforts.
Two goals by Thomas nearly brought the Comet’s equal with the score at 10-9 but their effort was in vain as the final whistle blew.
“We realized the sense of urgency to play a better game towards the end that sparked a vital passion, but we struggled to gain a consistent tempo,” Comet’s head coach Jem MaAdams said.
The lost might have brought a bit pain for the Palomar side, but there were also signs of hopes at the same time with Thomas putting in a particularly impressive performance.
“The girls nearly regained their composure and our goal was set to play with more intensity and accuracy when trailing and it showed how we can improve our record to go far in the Pacific Coast atheletic conference if we mange to press and execute more effectivel,” McAdams said.
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