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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Girls’ water polo: Freshman a key factor to team’s success

Sprinting down the pool in a match against Cupertino last month, freshman driver Mackenzie Rosenthal called for the ball and received a perfect pass from goalie Alison Knysh. Within seconds, she was looking into the eyes of the opponent’s goalie. Faking a shot the to left side of the goal, Rosenthal then reared back and fired a deadly shot into the right corner, sinking the ball into the net as part of a 15-1 win over the Pioneers.

With three years of experience playing water polo, it was no surprise the freshman was chosen to play for varsity her first year. Already earning multiple goals in the first few games, she has quickly found her place as a key member of the team.

“It’s really cool because not a lot of freshmen make varsity,” Rosenthal said. “All the team members are really nice, and we’re all best friends now.”

Rosenthal has played water polo with the Stanford club team since age 9. Her experience has given her the skills to become a strong player within the team.

“Mackenzie has a lot of good insight because she’s been playing for a long time,” junior hole set Claire Schwartz said. “She’s had a lot of experience.”

Rosenthal’s main strengths are offense and shooting, according to Schwartz. Her ability to make smart plays and create opportunities for shots makes her a menacing offensive player in the pool.

“Mackenzie is a key player for the team,” senior utility player Nicole Shadman said. “She’s as important as our upperclassmen in the games.”

Rosenthal previously played basketball and soccer before starting water polo. She plans to do swimming in the spring, either with a club or the school team. She feels positive about the team and is enjoying her first season in high school.

“I feel like we’re doing pretty well as a team,” said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal has been an integral part of the team’s good start. With a 4-2 record as of Oct. 11, players feel invigorated by their stellar performance and hope to maintain it throughout the season.

“We’ve done pretty well so far this season,” said Schwartz. “We’ve lost to a couple teams but we feel like the next time we play them we can beat them.”

According to Schwartz, the key to a successful season for the Falcons will be to “play smart and work on defense.” With strong players such as Rosenthal on the team, the Falcons said they should be able to finish near the top of the El Camino League.

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