Women’s Water Polo loses three games against powerful defenses

Mahika Arya and Sneha Cheenath

Women’s Water Polo lost three of their last home games: 12-4 against Mission San Jose on Sept. 17, 23-2 against Foothill on Sept. 26 and 18-1 against Amador Valley on Oct. 10.

The Sept. 17 game began with a penalty shot for MSJ, which was blocked by junior goalie Abigail Bradford but was promptly followed by an MSJ goal 30 seconds later.

About a minute later, DV senior Shaurya Nyamagoudar scored, smashing the ball over the heads of many defenders.

The defense opened up 30 seconds later, and MSJ scored again.

Another MSJ player shot soon after, but it was blocked by DV’s defense. DV Captain Witney Lam passed the ball, which MSJ easily intercepted. MSJ scored again with 40 seconds left in the quarter, ending at 4-1.

Lam shot instantly in the second quarter, but the ball just barely hit the rim. 

After a minute of play, MSJ scored its first goal of the quarter.

Both teams made two shots, both of which were blocked. This back-and-forth action led to MSJ scoring at around four minutes, which was followed by MSJ scoring two more times. 

With 53 seconds left in the quarter, DV player Saanvi Deb scored, bringing the half-time score to 8-2 in favor of MSJ. 

The second quarter began with multiple attacks on the goalie, and three minutes in, MSJ scored another goal.

DV had many slips on offense during this quarter, but their defense was strong enough to limit MSJ to only one goal for the rest of the quarter, ending 10-2.

The contentious final quarter yielded goals from both teams, with Nyamagoudar and Lam, scoring. The final whistle blew with MSJ soundly beating the Wildcats, 12-4.

Their losing streak continued against Foothill 23-2 on Sept. 26. 

The first quarter began with an attempted goal from each side. Goalies blocked both shots, but Foothill scored soon after. They then scored three consecutive goals, scoring one by rapidly swimming across the pool and almost nonchalantly placing the ball in the goal. 

“We should focus on grabbing the ball when the other team turns over,” Saleem said. 

Dougherty was able to score at the end of the quarter, ending the quarter 4-1. 

In the first seconds of the second quarter, Foothill scored. They attempted another goal, and the DV goalie blocked the ball. But Foothill picked up the rebound and scored, raising Foothill’s lead. In the remainder of the quarter, Foothill scored twice, resulting in a 10-point lead in Foothill’s favor. 

Despite having a lot of initial control over the ball, DV “had a lot of turnovers, which is the problem,” junior Keya Vaidya said.

Foothill started strong in the third quarter and scored two goals. But DV’s Lam soon got the ball and chucked it across the pool, where it landed in the goal, making the score 14-2. By the end of the quarter, it was 17-2. 

In the fourth quarter, Foothill scored six consecutive times, making the final score 23-2. 

This losing trend continued into DV’s second-to-last home game against Amador, where they  were blown out, 18-1.

AV started off with the ball, but captain Lam quickly intercepted it, shooting but missing the goal within a minute of time starting.

A mere five seconds after this attempt, AV scored a goal. Lam tried following up, but the shot was blocked. Two and a half minutes later, AV scored another goal, carefully maneuvering around DV’s defense.

After a few more close attempts from both teams, Amador seemed to slam another ball into the net 40 seconds later, but the goal wasn’t counted. After this call by the referee, Amador scored two more consecutive shots within 30 seconds of each other. 

There was little action until the last 30 seconds of the quarter, when AV scored, bringing the first quarter score to 5-0.

The second quarter began with a bang, with Amador attempting a goal within 40 seconds of the whistle blowing, quickly followed by another goal.

There was a fight for the ball, and it resulted in Amador getting a penalty shot; however, this was caught by DV’s goalie, junior Abigail Bradford. Despite this excellent block, Amador scored two more goals in the next minute. 

The game remained quieter until AV scored two more goals around four and five minutes into the quarter, respectively. With just 20 seconds left in the half, Amador scored one more goal before the half ended 10-0, Amador.

The second half began with constant scoring by Amador, scoring four goals in a short five minutes.

This quarter saw many interceptions, with no one having complete control for the majority of the half. Each team intercepted each others’ passes, but by the time the ball had emerged, the quarter ended 14-0.

“We’re not very good at ball-handling, so we can’t keep the ball when we’re on offense,” Saleem said. “Even though we might be fast enough, we can’t keep the ball.”

In the final quarter, DV seemed to wake up, with Lam making a great shot in the initial minute, but the goalie just barely helped it above the time. Amador scored three more goals within three and a half minutes. 

There were many more attempts, but none successful until Amador scored at six minutes. This spurred on Lam as she scored a difficult goal with 30 seconds left in the game. This closed the game at 18-1.

Women’s Water Polo will face off in their final game against Cal High on Oct. 24 at DV at 4 p.m.