Girls Water Polo: Upper Arlington Golden Bears finish perfect season with state title

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group

CINCINNATI – The girls water polo state final May 22 played out somewhat like most of Upper Arlington’s games this season and finished like all of the previous 25, but the details of the Golden Bears’ 11-4 win over Cincinnati Sycamore were not necessarily expected.

UA sprinted to an 8-4 halftime lead and then clinched an unbeaten season, its second state championship in a row and 18th overall by shutting out the Aviators in the second half at Cincinnati Princeton.

“Usually when we’ve played them, it’s been in their favor in the beginning and then our endurance catches up and we’re able to outplay them,” said UA’s Caroline Colombo, who had five of her game-high seven goals in the first half. “It was really tight, which is a lot more fun than a blowout. So it was a really fun game. They put up a really great fight.”

The Upper Arlington girls water polo team celebrates its state championship after defeating Cincinnati Sycamore 11-4 on May 22 at Cincinnati Princeton. The Golden Bears went undefeated this season.

Lydia Muldoon and Caroline Porterfield each added two goals for the Bears, and Muldoon helped lead a stout defensive effort in front of goalie Carley Hart that prevented Sycamore from getting close looks at the goal most of the game.

Two of Colombo’s goals and both of Muldoon’s came in a 5-0 spurt after an early 1-all tie.

Ryan Carmody had a hat trick and Emma Baecker scored the other goal for the Aviators.

UA advanced with a 20-4 win over the Cincinnati Mavericks in a semifinal earlier May 22.

“We knew from the start that our shots would have to be on point, so we knew defense was going to be our primary goal. That’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I preach,” Bears coach Caitlain Spangler said. “We want to be as in their face and on top of things as possible. That’s what I ask.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave