Girls’ water polo secures spot in CCS despite missing players

November 12, 2014 — by Gwynevere Hunger and Stefanie Ting

The girls’ water polo team finished third in the SCVAL League De Anza Division with a record of 7-5. After placing fourth in the League Tournament on Nov. 9, the team moved on to CCS as a No. 9 seed.

The girls’ water polo team finished third in the SCVAL League De Anza Division with a record of 7-5. After placing fourth in the League Tournament on Nov. 9, the team moved on to CCS as a No. 9 seed.

The girls played Mountain View in their first League Tournament game on Nov. 6. Down the first half, they came back to tie the score 3-3 at the end of regulation. They ended up winning 4-3 in overtime on a goal by senior Madison Gress, securing a spot in CCS. Even though many of the starters, such as senior Mackenzie Rosenthal and juniors Alexa Frieberg and Jace Welton, did not play because of illnesses, the team adapted to the absences of their key players by “getting used to how [the remaining players] want the ball and how they interact with others,” according to senior Amanda Moriarty.

“Everybody…takes criticism differently and they play differently and you just have to adapt to the way they are different,” Moriarty said.

The next day, the girls played Los Gatos in the Mountain View pool. Although Gress and sophomore Kailyn Koerber scored two goals each and Moriarty scored one, the team lost 8-5, once again hamstrung by the challenge of playing without starters.

 

“It was hard because both [senior attack Mackenzie Rosenthal] and I were out because I was sick and she had just gotten her wisdom teeth out,” Frieberg said. “But overall the team played well together.”

On Sunday they played their last League Tournament game against Los Altos at Gunn. Although the girls defeated the team twice during the season, they lost 4-1, with the one goal scored by Welton.

“We lost this time because Mackenzie was still out, Jace and I were playing but sick and Madison got kicked out in the first half of the game,” Frieberg said.

Despite the losses in the league tournament, the Falcons showed a noticeable improvement throughout the season.They adapted to new coach Nick Berg and many absences from games due to illness or injures; the girls’ season reflects their willpower to push through, no matter what the circumstances were.

“We have really grown as a team and improved over the season,” Moriarty said. “We have a really strong defense and our offense has improved and continues to improve every game. Despite all the setbacks that were out of our control like a small team, injuries and illness we still came out of the season as a really tight-knit team that exceeded many people's expectations.”

The team was scheduled to play its first CCS game against Stevenson, the No. 12 seed, on Nov. 11 at Aptos High School in Santa Cruz County. The outcome of the game could not be covered due to printing deadlines. The winner of the game was scheduled to face No. 8 seed Saint Ignatius at Mountain View on Nov. 13. Details can be found in the Nov. 21 issue of the Falcon.

Prior to their end of the season games, on Oct. 30, the girls’ water polo team competed at home against Los Gatos on senior night. They lost 6-3, but “it was one of the best games [they] played during the season because of [their] teamwork,” according to sophomore defense Liu.

The team also beat Homestead 9-2 on Oct. 28.

“The score was really close at halftime,” Liu said. “In the second half we really got into our groove, and we kept making our shots.”

A strong core of seniors has led the way so far for the team. Senior goalie Puck de Roos has saved many goals while Moriarty, Rosenthal and Gress have scored the majority of the goals.

“We have all been working together to help improve both our offense and our defense,” Gress said. “This has let us come out stronger at the beginning of games and helped us win together as a team.”

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