Being beaten twice is one thing, being swept in the third meeting is unacceptable.
Tokay High's girls water polo team faced that possibility in a match that also held San Joaquin Athletic Association playoff implications at home against Lincoln on Tuesday.
With the Trojans holding a one-game lead for second place over the Tigers, Lindsay Daseler scored the game-winning goal with just under four minutes left in a 5-3 Tokay victory.
"It's a big win for us," Tokay coach Kipp Hummel said. "After losing to them in league and at the Western States Tournament this past weekend we had to have the win."
The victory pulls Tokay (17-6, 11-2 SJAA) into a two-way tie with Lincoln (11-2 SJAA) with five regular-season matches remaining.
In a game dominated by defense, the Tigers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Sarah Watt goal, but the Trojans answered in the waning moments of the first half to knot the score at 1-1.
The Trojans then sandwiched two scores around Watt's second goal to hold a 3-2 lead midway through the third period.
Lacey Nance scored on a rebound to knot the game yet again at 3-3 entering the final seven minutes of regulation.
Daseler then scored the game-winner in the final period and goalie Kristen Woltkamp, who had nine saves, put an exclamation point on the victory with a long goal as the horn sounded.
"It was defense all the way," said Hummel, adding that he feels Woltkamp is the best goalie in the SJAA. "I design my whole defense around her."
The Tigers host West on Thursday.
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