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Jackets get stuck in shallow end

By Jared Green
Friday September 27, 2002


Call it a home-field disadvantage. 

The Berkeley High boys’ water polo team was shut out in both the second and fourth quarters against Bishop O’Dowd on Thursday, as the Dragons were twice able to wipe out Berkeley leads for a 9-7 win at Willard Middle School in Berkeley. The pool at Willard is only 3 feet deep on one end, which happened to be the end the Yellowjackets were shooting at in both quarters they were blanked. 

“[O’Dowd’s] goalkeeper was tall, and in the shallow cage he could just jump and cover the entire goal,” Berkeley’s Andy Turner said. “Our shot selection started to be off, and we just let the pressure get to us.” 

The Jackets (3-6 overall, 1-1 ACCAL) had one-goal leads at the end of both the first and third quarters, thanks in large part to Turner and Dominic Cathey. Turner had three goals and an assist, while Cathey contributed two assists and a goal. 

But O’Dowd (4-5, 1-0) got the last laugh. Down 7-5 with just seconds left in the third quarter, it looked as if Berkeley would have the momentum heading into the final seven minutes of play. But an apparent O’Dowd shot clock violation turned into a Dragon goal as no one secured the ball as both teams headed back down to the other end. When neither referee blew the whistle to stop play, however, an O’Dowd player alertly beat Berkeley goalkeeper Sammy Hammer to the ball and scored an easy goal, cutting the deficit to one. 

The fourth quarter was all Dragons, as captain Cason Schmit returned from a third-quarter ejection to create havoc in front of the Berkeley net. Schmit’s presence opened up shots for his teammates, and Hammer couldn’t stop every shot thrown at him. 

The tying goal came from a bit of luck for the Dragons. Patrick Bobb had the ball near the side of the Berkeley goal, but it slipped out of his hand and behind him. The defender dove for the ball, but Bobb reached back blindly and came up with it instead, leaving him alone with Hammer for an easy score. 

Berkeley had a golden opportunity seconds later as O’Dowd goalkeeper Elliot Carney was ejected for an intentional foul. But the Jackets took a needlessly quick shot during the resulting three-on-one that went over the bar, releasing Carney from the sideline. 

With a minute remaining, O’Dowd’s Jim Bowerman had the ball near midfield with the shot clock winding down and lasered in a desperation shot. It skipped off the water and deflected off of Hammer’s outstretched arm for an 8-7 O’Dowd lead. The Jackets couldn’t get a shot off on the next possession, and Bobb scored a fastbreak goal to put the game away.