Story by Kimberly Hsueh and Madeleine Yoo
Photos by Oscar Walsh
Girls’ water polo dropped its second home straight game, falling 10-9 to La Serna in a closely contested match. After a disheartening defeat against Notre Dame earlier in the week, the Tigers were determined to challenge the strong Lancer squad. However, with the Lancers’ aggressive play, the girls were continuously overpowered and missed multiple passes, dropping their overall record to 2-2.
Despite being unable to win the opening minutes, the Tigers proved their strength from the start. Senior Jael Osborne was active on defense and pressured her opponents to give up the ball. She provided a second line of defense and assisted junior goalie Krystal Lee in blocking many powerful shots. However, La Serna’s defense was too much for the Tiger attacks, and the quarter ended with a score of 2-1.
La Serna’s momentum surged after they scored three goals in the first four minutes of the second quarter. As a result, the Tigers called numerous timeouts to regroup and strategize. With a boost of energy and determination to score, the girls displayed impressive teamwork with sharp passing and strong defense, pressing the opposition into losing possession of the ball. Despite being unable to gain an advantage in the opening period, sophomore Amanda Kanaly exhibited her dominance with her steady passings and aggressive shots. With 15 seconds left in the quarter and the ball in her possession, Kanaly shot and scored a goal, cutting down their deficit to one.
The Tigers attempted to make a much needed comeback in the second half of the game. After losing the sprint, SPHS was able to regain the possession and precisely pass to each other until Osborne made a close shot. In the effort, Kanaly was injured by an opponent and was removed for the rest of the game. When the game resumed, the Tigers exhibited their motivation to recover from their deficit. Senior Allison Lao skillfully intercepted a pass between the Lancers and sparked a turnover. A series of back-and-forth passes between Osborne and senior Sydney Shettleroe distracted La Serna and gave the Tigers an opportunity to score; but Shettleroe’s shot was narrowly blocked by the goalie. Osborne made a quick break to grab the rebound which allowed senior Olivia Hunt to score, but it was too little to late. South Pas was unable to regain their lead and the game concluded with in a close 9-8 loss.
With this defeat, the girls are determined to finally surpass La Cañada High School in their next game after a well fought game against them last season and break their 2-2 season record at the league opener at La Cañada on Saturday, January 5.