By Rick Assad
An early deficit wasn’t a problem for the Burroughs High girls’ water polo team in its nonleague match versus visiting Marlborough on Thursday afternoon.
Roaring back after trailing by five goals twice in the second quarter and getting within one goal late in the fourth period was impressive, but when Nancy Baylor scored the tying goal from nine feet with 12 seconds left in the fourth period, the large crowd sensed something good brewing.
A three-minute overtime period saw neither team score, but the go-ahead and winning tally by Anastasia Zubkoff from seven feet with 1:08 left in the second overtime secured an incredible 12-11 victory.
The second half witnessed the Bears exhibit extreme energy, grit and tons of determination as they outscored the Mustangs 7-3.
Burroughs scored the first three goals in the third frame and the first tallies in the fourth period which set the tone for the rally and win.
The key frame was the fourth as Burroughs knocked in four goals while limiting Marlborough (3-1) to just one.
Burroughs co-head coach Martin Ortega-Jennison was thrilled with the win and said the team was more willing to take better shots in the second half.
“We were able to get some momentum. We were just a little too timid at shooting in the first half and the adjustments were made where we put our shooters in better positions to score,” he said of the comeback. “There were a lot of turnovers that cost us early, but certain things were cleaned up and our goalie [Mindy Hernandez] stepped up and made some really big saves and had some good steals. She helped us immensely.”
Baylor paced the Bears with five goals including two in the fourth period.
Burroughs (4-1) fell behind 4-2 after the first quarter as Rhiannon Kraft, who led the Mustangs with a match-best six goals, scored two in the frame.
Kraft’s initial goal with 6:17 left on a 10-footer that made it 1-0 and then added a goal with 3:30 showing on an eight-footer as Marlborough pulled ahead 2-1.
The Bears found the back of the net when Olivia Dominguez tossed in a nine-footer with 5:13 on the ticker that evened it at 1-1.
Zubkoff added a goal with 1:39 left from point-blank range as Burroughs came within 3-2.
The Mustangs once again outscored the Bears 4-2, this time in the second frame as Kraft tallied three goals.
They included an eight-foot toss with 5:57 left that made it 5-2 in favor of the Mustangs and Kraft extended the lead to 7-2 on a six-footer and 4:16 left on the clock.
A 15-foot bomb by Kraft with 46 seconds remaining put the Mustangs in front 8-3.
Baylor knocked in both goals for the hosts in the second stanza and they came with 2:08 left on a 10-footer that sliced the lead to 7-3 and a six-footer with 34 seconds left that trimmed the advantage to 8-4 at the intermission.
Marlborough scored two goals in the third frame and one of them came off a five-foot throw from Kraft with 2:40 left that saw the visitors lead 9-7.
Burroughs tossed in three goals in the same period as Baylor’s six-footer with 5:45 left cut the deficit to 8-6.
Sarah Metry’s 10-footer with 6:22 on the clock sliced the cushion to 8-5 and Ava Tomlinson’s 20-footer with 3:54 left shaved the lead to 8-7.
Aside from Baylor’s tying tally, the other goal from Baylor in the fourth period was a five-footer with 2:23 left that allowed the Bears to get within 11-10.
Metry’s eight-footer with 6:24 left saw the Bears climb within 10-8 and Giselle Janczewski’s seven-footer with 5:11 left on the clock allowed Burroughs to scoot within 10-9.