By Kevin Park
The varsity girls’ water polo 2015-2016 season came to end on Saturday, February 20 with a tough loss to Los Altos High School in the CIF quarterfinals at home. This year’s season was filled with several surprises, most notably when the Tigers secured a spot in playoffs through a wildcard victory. The girls concluded their season in the Rio Hondo League with an overall record of 15-9 and a league record of 4-4.
In Saturday’s game, the Tigers struggled to limit the damage and conceded many goals to Los Altos in the first quarter. The Tigers were already down 4-2 by the end of the first. South Pas lost freshman Sydney Shettleroe for the entire game through an ejection. Even without their best freshman, the girls fought to cut the lead the best they could before the game got out of hand. The team got the score as close as 11-9, but could not overcome with the time winding down.
South Pas faced off against the Esperanza Aztecs at Esperanza High School on February 17 for the first round of CIF. The game began very slowly as both teams struggled to create anything on the offensive end. Eventually, the Tigers found their stride and scored three in the first half, leading 3-1. In the second half, the Aztecs got the game to be as close as 3-2 before the Tigers took it away with a few clutch goals to lead 6-3 by the fourth. The Tigers sealed the 7-4 win and moved on to the quarterfinals.
A week and a half ago, clinching a spot in the playoffs remained questionable for the Tigers as they were in third place. However, the girls were given a chance to gain a CIF berth with a victory in the wildcard game against Xavier College Preparatory High School on February 16. In the match, South Pas dominated Xavier by 17-7 in a game that showcased the Tigers’ ability to take over on offense. The first half belonged to the Tigers as Shettleroe and sophomore Hayden Carlson scored four goals in the first quarter alone. Every girl contributed to the offensive charge and lockdown defense. The girls limited the opposing team to just three goals by the end of the half and only seven by the end of the game.
Overall, the team is proud and optimistic despite its loss in the quarterfinals and is confident that the future South Pasadena water polo teams will be very promising.
“This season was above and beyond what anyone would have expected,” coach Meagan Paschall said. “This team was so special because every one of my athletes has come from different backgrounds, experience levels, and different goals for the season, and yet, they came together, entrusted in one another, and pursed greatness in themselves and their roster.”