Story by Kimberly Hsueh and Madeleine Yoo
Photo by Oscar Walsh
The SPHS girls’ varsity water polo team was trounced by the fierce Notre Dame Knights on Tuesday, December 11 by a score of 12-7.
Although the Tigers were unable to gain an early lead in the opening sprint, they were unfazed, displaying a strong defensive effort. Sophomore Amanda Kanaly relentlessly pressed the opposition, preventing them from passing the ball and shooting at the goal. The team, lead by seniors Olivia Hunt, Jael Osborne, Allison Lao, and Sydney Shettleroe, showcased unmatched teamwork by swiftly passing the ball to one another. Propelled by their dart-like offensive skill, the girls were able to successfully score twice in the short seven minute period. Notre Dame, on the other hand, was unable to break past the South Pas defense, resulting in a 2-1 Tiger lead at the end of the first.
The lead quickly disappeared, as the second quarter began with a lost sprint by Osborne. Unable to secure the possession, the Tigers were forced to defend the goal within five meters. Unfortunately, junior goalie Krystal Lee was unable to block a close shot and Notre Dame tied the game. In an effort to regain the lead, South Pas worked the top half of the pool. Osborne and Shettleroe kept the Knights on their feet by passing the ball among themselves until Lao found open water to receive the ball. The advantage was short lived, as Lao was ejected immediately for overpowering her defender. Subsequently, the Tigers were overpowered with only five players on defense. Later in the fast-paced quarter, SPHS found rhythm again and was able to score. However, it was bittersweet, as half-time was called after Notre Dame scored another three goals, ending the second quarter at 5-3.
In the third quarter, the girls were unable to gain the upperhand in the sprint, and both their offensive and defensive strategies began to stagger. Numerous turnovers led to Tiger attacks on the goal, but they were unable to score. However, hope was not lost as Hunt and Osborne finally decreased the deficit with their aggressive play, strongly slamming the ball into the goal. Unfortunately, the Knights were prepared and resisted the Tigers’ attempt to steal the ball. With Notre Dame’s consistent scoring, South Pas was unable to make a comeback and the quarter ended 10-5 in favor of the opposition.
With another lost sprint, the girls struggled to maintain their momentum and lost possession of the ball countless times. Despite their faltered energy, South Pas continued its swift passing, enabling Osborne and Hunt to add to their score. Notre Dame strongly displayed their offensive power, but Lee persisted in the cage and passed long shots to fielders at the top of the pool. However, the Tigers’ efforts were not enough, concluding the game with a score of 12-7.
After the defeat, the Tigers hope to dominate La Serna High School at home on Thursday, December 13 at 3:30 p.m.