Photo by Hana Tyszka
Senior Staff Photographer
The girls’ varsity water polo team closed out its regular season with a 14-3 loss at home against the La Cañada Spartans. This devastating loss evens its season record to 4-4 and its overall record to 16-8.
The team played in the Los Altos Tournament on Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4 beating out Palos Verdes, Troy, and Segerstrom High Schools. However, South Pas lost to Temple City, whom they had played the previous Thursday, and Westridge.
La Cañada kicked off the game with aggressive control, scoring the first goal 14 seconds in. The Tigers responded with high energy, stealing back several balls from the Spartans, holding them off for 3 minutes. However, the opposing team scored again mid-quarter as they showcased their team’s cohesiveness, breaking through South Pas’ defense to a third goal. The next three minutes were a string of frantic struggle for the Tigers as the Spartans scored their fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh goals to end the quarter.
The girls continued into the second quarter full of determination, swimming toward the ball for offensive opportunities. La Cañada matched South Pas’ spirit with the team’s eighth goal a minute into the quarter, smoothly maneuvering steals from the Tigers to their ninth goal. South Pas persisted throughout the rest of the quarter, keeping the Spartans’ and the home team’s score constant.
South Pas struggled considerably in the second half of the game. The team wasn’t able to take advantage of offensive opportunities and missed several easy shots. The Tigers were able to catch some momentum mid-quarter, and their improved ball movement gave sophomore Sydney Shettleroe the chance to score the team’s first goal. Later in the period, sophomore Olivia Hunt stole the ball from the Spartans, got it to Shettleroe, whose shot hit the crossbar. Junior Hayden Carlson recovered the ball and passed it to sophomore Jael Osborne for another Tiger point. La Cañada regrouped during a timeout and came back with a stronger defense, also scoring two more points in the quarter.
The Tigers went into the final period of the game down 11-2. Again, South Pas had many good looks at the goal, but failed to convert opportunity to points. Most of the team’s shots were blocked by the Spartan goalie, and La Cañada continued to pull ahead, scoring another two goals. Shettleroe found open junior Sumiko Rudisky for a third Tiger point before the Spartans ended the game with one last score.
The team will be moving on to the wildcard round of CIF playoffs. The full CIF bracket will be announced on Saturday, February 11 on the CIF website.