Yesterday, October 31, the girls water polo team played its final league and home game against Palo Alto High School. Although Palo Alto continually fought to even out the scores, the Lady Eagles managed to maintain their one point advantage over the Vikings throughout the game and hold onto the lead. The final score was 6-5 in favor of Los Altos.
Since senior night happened right before the game, the girls were much more motivated to win than before.
“I think that overall we did a great job keeping the team spirit up,” sophomore Christina Pao said. “We didn’t want to lose it on senior night! This was especially in light of the fact that we have beaten Palo Alto twice before this season.”
The first quarter started out strong, with the Lady Eagles scoring within the first 30 seconds of the game. Although Palo Alto won the sprint, Los Altos managed to steal the ball and quickly score a goal before the Vikings could set up their defense. Maintaining a strong offense, the Lady Eagles then proceeded to score another two points in the next two minutes.
But three minutes into the first quarter, Los Altos’ defense began to deteriorate as players made careless mistakes that Palo Alto quickly took advantage of. Palo Alto quickly netted three points back to back to tie the game at 3-3. Fortunately, the Lady Eagles managed to score another point off of an ejection shot before the end of the quarter.
With the game at 4-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Eagles started off the second quarter by sealing off the defense that had previously slackened. Palo Alto responded with a strong defense of its own, and after a number of poor passes, the girls were only able to score once throughout the whole quarter.
Palo Alto matched this goal with a half court shot that managed to slip past the goalie’s fingertips, but Los Altos’ biggest blow came in the form of the ejection of co-captain senior Casey Vanneman, one of the team’s top scorers, as a result of too many fouls. Still, the Lady Eagles held on, and at half time, held a 5-4 advantage over Palo Alto.
Offense in the third quarter started off slowly for the Lady Eagles. But what Los Altos lacked in offense, it made up with a superb defense. An airtight defensive effort prevented the Vikings from scoring a single point. Goalie junior Romy Aboudarham had a solid quarter, with five blocks and a steal.
By the end of the third, the team managed to pick up its offense and pull ahead to a 6-4 lead over Palo Alto.
With the game coming to a close, the Lady Eagles put on their best defense, continuing to clamp down on the Palo Alto offense. A single goal was let in in the second half of the game, a testament to the team’s defense.
Notable scorers yesterday were team co-captain senior Jenna Gavenman who scored one point, senior Kimberlyn Tilley who scored one point, Christina who scored one point and Casey who scored two.
With their narrow victory, the Lady Eagles learned more about their weaknesses, which they will focus on at SCVALs.
“One thing we could’ve done better was put away our shots on offense,” Christina said.
The Lady Eagles will seek a second victory over Paly in the first game of the SCVAL Championships on Thursday, November 7.