The Wildcat Tribune

Women’s Water Polo works for first win of season against Mariners

Sophomore+Abby+Bradford+prepares+to+block+a+penalty+shot.
Sophomore Abby Bradford prepares to block a penalty shot.

Sophomore Abby Bradford prepares to block a penalty shot.

Ada Ip

Ada Ip

Sophomore Abby Bradford prepares to block a penalty shot.

Ronit Kumar, Sports Editor

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On Sept. 25, senior Kaitlyn Said powered the DV women’s water polo team to its first season victory at home against Moreau Catholic, 10-6. One day later, the team struggled against Kimball and lost at home by a score of 17-8.

In addition, the team lost their most recent home games against consistent St. Patrick-St. Vincent and East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) powerhouse Monte Vista, losing by scores of 10-6 and 21-3, respectively.

Said had her best game of the season against the Moreau Catholic Mariners, scoring six out of the team’s total 10 goals. In addition, team communication was well improved in the team’s first victory as players, especially Said, threw more accurate passes throughout the game.

“Along with our improved communication, the movement going on in the pool was on a level that I don’t really think our team has ever hit before. We played really well,” Said reflected.

Despite Said’s consistency, the Wildcats were unable to overcome the Kimball Jaguars. Said scored four goals, which was the team’s highest number of goals made by an individual player for the second day in a row. In addition, DV goalkeeper Pauleen Bajwa, who had recently suffered a concussion, saved 13 goals throughout the game. However, due to an abnormal number of fouls, the Wildcats turned over the ball multiple times.

“I think because Kimball played very dirty, the team let the anger from their aggressiveness get to their heads, causing them to shut down a give up a little,” Said mentioned, about the fouls.

In their first October home game, the Wildcats fell to the St. Patrick-St. Vincent Bruins while adjusting to player substitutions. Sophomore goalkeeper Abby Bradford took charge after Bajwa went down with a serious concussion. She recorded three saves in her debut as a starter. Said maintained her consistency by scoring four goals, all of which came in the fourth quarter of the game. Yet again, she recorded the team high number of shots made.

“We took a lot of stupid shots on our back and didn’t use our full shot clock,” Said remarked, about the game.

The Wildcats were dominated by rival Monte Vista Mustangs in their final home game of the season. Despite the adversities the team was facing, experienced Said continued her streak of leading the team in goals scored, with two of the team’s total of three.

Additionally, new goalkeeper Bradford continued to emerge as a player, recording eight incredible saves with her aggressive approach to the game. However, due to the Wildcats’ defensive struggles, the pressure on her increased as the Mustangs’ speedy swimmers constantly passed Wildcat defenders near the goal.

“Our players weren’t quite staying on their man, and therefore let them have the advantage when the ball was turned over. As a result, with MV on offense, we always ended up having a two-on-one situation,” Said described.

With the season almost ending, the team has unfortunately fallen from EBAL playoff contention. They look forward to enjoying their last few games and to continuing to improve every day.

“I hope to play in college, but as a senior, these are the last high school water polo moments that I get to have, so I need to cherish them. I am going to continue to work hard and keep a smile on my face,” Said reflected.

The Wildcats will have their last game of the season away at Freedom on Oct. 24.

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Women’s Water Polo works for first win of season against Mariners