By Kevin Park
Photos by Brian Kojima
The varsity girls’ water polo team dropped its game to the La Cañada Spartans by a score of 11-7 on the road this Thursday, February 4. The team has exactly one game left before playoffs with a league record of 3-4 and overall record of 12-8.
The Spartans struck first with an immediate goal from a quick entry shot and led 1-0 in the first quarter. Sophomore Hayden Carlson worked herself through the defense and let go of a beautiful shot past the goalie to even the score at 1-1. Then the Tigers conceded three straight goals, making the score 4-1. Junior Brittney Jarjour received a pass from freshman Sydney Shettleroe and scored by driving into the defense, cutting the lead to 4-2. The Spartans added onto the lead with an another goal and led 5-2 by the end of the first quarter.
The girls shifted the momentum in the second quarter with a few more goals and limited La Cañada’s attacks. Carlson received the ball on a fastbreak and scored on a one-on-one situation to put the score at 5-3. After a Spartan’s goal, Freshman Sumi Rudinsky launched a shot from beyond the 5 meter mark and knocked it into the back of the net. Then, Carlson fought hard to beat a defender one-on-one and shot around her to make the score 6-5. As the first half came to an end, the Spartans led 7-5.
In the third quarter, both teams struggled to create any offensive opportunies. Senior Savannah Pierce broke the silence as she drove into the defense and scored to put the score at 7-6. La Cañada then scored to end the third quarter at 8-6.
The Spartans added two more goals in the fourth quarter and slowly took control over the game. However, Shettleroe was able to score off her teammate’s shot off the bar and cut the lead to 10-8. La Cañada finished the game with two more goals and closed out the Tigers with a score of 12-8.
“The team played exceptionally well and outpaced our coaches expectations. We were able to play as a cohésive unit, and were really aware of the ball.” senior Melody Gray said. “We will be working on starting strong and defeating the mental side of our game.”
The Tigers will face off against Monrovia High School on the road on Thursday, February 11.