Dons toppled by Cougars in key match

The Channel League race in boys water polo was shaken up considerably on Tuesday as Santa Barbara lost on the road to Ventura 10-9 in sudden-death overtime.

The Dons (15-5, 6-1) missed 27 shots on the afternoon, including a penalty shot and three “one-on-nobodys” according to coach Mark Walsh.

“They played tough and their goalie made some big saves, and we were just never able to put them away,” said Walsh. “It’s kind of like missing slam dunks when the other team is making 20-footers.”

Ventura converted on a penalty shot with 20 seconds left in regulation to send it into overtime. The Cougars prolonged the game again with a deflected shot on a 6-on-5 advantage with 13 seconds left in the second overtime. The game-winner came with 10 seconds remaining in the first sudden-death period.

The loss means that, assuming they beat Buena and San Marcos, the Dons will face DP next Thursday needing a win to clinch the conference title outright.

“It is what it is and hopefully we’ll be ready to play. We need to get a lot better before that match if we’re going to win it,” said Walsh.

Chris Dall, Parker Peterson and Brendan Kerwin-McElroy each had two goals for the Dons.

VENTURA 10, SANTA BARBARA 9, Sudden-Death OT

Santa Barbara……1  2  3  2  1  0  0 — 9

Ventura……………1  2  2  3  0  1  1 — 10

Goals—SB:Dall 2, Peterson 2, Kerwin Mcelroy 2, Sklar 1, Gamble 1, Churchman 1. V: McGrath 4, Taylor 3, Tice 3. Goalie saves — SB: Ploch 5, V: Frankenhauser 7.

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