Today, November 13, the girls water polo team played Carlmont High School in the first round of the CCS tournament. Despite fighting hard throughout all four quarters and in overtime, the Lady Eagles were not able to sustain the defense that they had been able to hold throughout the first half of the game, and ultimately lost the game 6-7.
The first quarter started off slow for the Lady Eagles, with the Eagles losing the first point two minutes into the game off of a counter attack. Despite this early loss, the Eagles were able to quickly etaliate strongly, scoring another two goals before the end of the quarter. The end of the quarter came with the Eagles in a one point lead at 2-1.
The second quarter was a long quarter of back and forth fighting. The Lady Eagles displayed a superb defense, locking down the Carlmont team and not allowing them to score a single point. However, the girls lacked an offensive force to allow them to score. Time after time, poor form and a lack of general awareness costed the girls opportunities to shoot the ball. Near the end of the quarter, the Lady Eagles managed to net one point by shooting from the half court mark. The halftime began with the Eagles winning 3-1, but the next quarter would turn it around for Carlmont.
Despite the Eagles starting off the third quarter strong with another goal off of a counterattack, the Eagles started to let their defense slip. As the Lady Eagles started to lag behind on defense when defending against drives, the Carlmont players began to take advantage of the players’ slower speed by spacing out and basing more of their offense on driving. The Eagles quickly lost two points consecutively due to the Carlmont offensive driving before the end of the third quarter. With the score at 4-3, the game could be won by either team.
As the fourth quarter began, the Eagles started off strong, scoring another point within a minute of starting the quarter. Unfortunately, the girls’ poor form started to take a toll on their final score as countless shots with bad form flew either straight onto the crossbar or over the cage. As the the girls lost their offensive opportunities to score, bad passes and lack of communication compounded their disadvantage by giving Carlmont extra time through unnecessary turnovers.
As the game progressed, the girls became more and more fatigued, giving Carlmont many more opportunities to take advantage of. Carlmont was able to score another point with four minutes left in the quarter, only trailing the Lady Eagles by one point. During the last 14 seconds, a Carlmont player decided to shoot the ball from the perimeter. Although the ball bounced off of the crossbar, another Carlmont player that was in the area was able to salvage the ball and quickly shoot it again. This ball was blocked by the Eagles goalie before it could net the Carlmont team another goal. Unfortunately for the Los Altos team, another Carlmont player was again able to save the ball from the goalie’s hands, managing to push the ball into the goal with only eight seconds to spare in the fourth quarter. With the game tied at 5-5 at the end of the fourth quarter, the game progressed into overtime as per CCS rule.
As the first overtime quarter began, the Eagles were not able to score, as a majority of their shots came from half court or were shot unbalanced. Taking advantage of the many opportunities that the Lady Eagles gave during defense, the Carlmont team was able to score twice in the first overtime quarter. With the Eagles always behind on drives and not communicating enough, the Carlmont team took advantage of the Eagles poor defense to quickly take the lead and score. Carlton regained its confidence with the Eagles losing at the end of the first overtime half.
As the last overtime half of the game approached, the Eagles still did not manage to rise to the occasion as they did in previous games. The Lady Eagles were not able to take advantage of the low amount of pressure that the Carlmont team gave to the perimeter and lost many key advantages during six on five offenses.
With one minute left in the last half of the game, the Eagles managed to take a lucky shot which the Carlmont goalie accidentally knocked into the goal. The game came down to the last 26 seconds, where the Lady Eagles had one last offensive possession to be able to tie the game again. Unfortunately, with poor form the culprit, the final shot flew straight over the cage, ending the game at 6-7 in favor of Carlmont.
Senior team captain Casey Vanneman was able to score twice throughout the game, once during the first quarter and once during the second quarter. Senior Kimberlyn Tilley netted another two goals for the Lady Eagles, as well as senior team captain Jenna Gavenman and Ya’el Wiener who each scored one goal.
Goalie junior Romy Aboudarham had a solid game, blocking almost 20 goals for the team. Making up for the team’s subpar defense, Romy was able to block more than double the amount of goals that the Carlmont goalie could.
With this final defeat in CCS, the girls water polo season is now over. Their total record, 10 wins and 17 losses against some of the toughest teams in the region, demonstrates that the team had a fairly good season.