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By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com 

The Chelsea Bulldogs Water Polo team dropped their opening district game to an experienced Skyline Eagles team on Sept. 4 as they continue to search for their first win.

Bulldog sophomore Jared Atkinson goes for a shot against the Eagles. Photo by Seth Kinker

The Bulldogs are dealing with change, settling into a new approach with second-year head coach Jessica Hinderer and finding the answers to replace the graduation of eight seniors.

In a strong district with the Ann Arbor teams, Hinderer’s biggest change when she took over was the team’s approach to defense. The Bulldogs now play more of a zone on defense instead of a man press.

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“(It’s) less swimming for our guys,” said Hinderer. “It’s a little bit more complex to figure it out. But they’ve picked it up well, because we don’t have a lot of subs, it helps numbers-wise. That’s the biggest thing.”

The Bulldogs lost their top three scorers but did return their top defender in senior Deaglan Krause. Hinderer said she was impressed once the team realized someone would have to step in to fill the scoring void.

“(Senior) Niko (Fannin) came in with a skip shot I didn’t see from him last year,” said Hinderer. “Jared (Atkinson). He’s a sophomore starting on varsity. He’s got a cool confidence about him. It doesn’t matter if he misses, he’ll keep shooting. Those three have stepped up so far. The whole team has done great.”

The Bulldogs fell against the Eagles, 11-4 as the Eagles experience proved too much for the young Bulldogs.

After the first quarter, the Eagles led 5-1. Eagle goals were scored by Daniel Koselka, Noah Boucher (2), Ben Deininger, and Atticus Dewey. The lone Bulldog goal was scored by Fannin, a long bouncing skip shot that caught Skyline keeper Nicky Boucher off guard.

At halftime, the Eagles led 11-1. Goals for the Eagles after the first quarter were scored by Boucher, Dewey (3), Deininger (2), and a player with a roster cap that was not listed on the roster.

After the break the Bulldogs would score three goals in shortened quarters, two in the third and one in the fourth, to make the final score 11-4.

Bulldog sophomore Peter Frendenburg and junior Michael Hanna scored in the third and Fannin added his second goal with 15 seconds left.

The Bulldogs travel to Napoleon, Ohio on 9/5.

 

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