Women’s Water Polo team comes up short

To start off their 2015 Western Water Polo Association Women’s Championships, the Sonoma State University women’s water polo team hopped on a plane that was headed towards Geneva, Ohio.

Their first competitor would be Gannon University on Friday morning. With this being the first match of the weekend, the girls were off to a great start with a strong lead of 7-0 against the Lady Knights. 

From then on the Seawolves would continue to overpower the Lady Knights, winning with a final score of 14-5.

Jessica Becker, Kaysie Lewis and Alexa May each scored a goal to start off their strong 3-0 lead. Following suit would soon be Lexii Morabito, Noelle Herrera, as well as Lewis to give the Seawolves a 6-0 lead heading into halftime.

Once the third quarter started it would be Shannon Baer to place the ball in the net, but that would end the Seawolf goal streak. Gannon’s Alyssa Cooney was the first Lady Knight to make a goal, thus leaving the score at 7-1. From then on the Seawolves would continue their dominance with a nine- point lead, 12-3, against the Lady Knights with seven minutes left on the clock. The buzzer would soon ring throughout the venue, signaling that the match was over and the final score was 14-5.

With the added win to their name, the No. 2 Sonoma State Seawolves had pushed their overall record to 9-18. Yet, the added win was not the only positive outcome to happen. Thanks to Friday’s win, the women were then scheduled to play the No. 4 seed, CSU East Bay, in a semifinal match on Saturday. From there, the winner of Saturday’s match will move on to the championship match, while the loser will play for the third place recipient.

As the girls entered the pool, they knew what was on the line: a chance at the championship match. Unfortunately, they would not be able to keep their grasp on the winning title and lost by only one point.

With a tough team to play against and a big match on the line, no one wanted to relinquish their lead on Saturday. With the match falling into double overtime, it seemed the match would never end. It did, as the Pioneers took their advantage of a missed offensive opportunity by the Seawolves to score the final goal needed to end the match at 8-7.

Even though the Seawolves had lost to the Pioneers, they still put up a fight. It would be a tie match at 3-3 in the late third quarter. From there neither team would be able to take a lead larger than one goal. Brittny Hummel would score a goal in the last few seconds of the fourth quarter to tie up the match once again at 5-5 to send the Seawolves and the Pioneers into their first round of overtime.

It would then be Hummel again to place the Seawolves in the lead by one goal in the start of the first overtime. Yet, East Bay was not going down without a fight as they responded with two goals of their own to place them in the lead by one, 7-6. The Seawolves were able to respond. Just when it seemed like the match was finished, Kaysie Lewis came in with a last second shot to tie the match once again at 7-7, sending both teams into sudden death double OT.

It was during the sudden death, that the Seawolves had lost their grip on the match against East Bay. They had won the sprint, but had failed to make something of their opportunity, leaving East Bay’s Jenn Lightbody to receive possession over the ball. As she fought through the traffic in front of the goalmouth she would be able to get the ball past the Seawolves, giving her team the final point they needed to win the match at 8-7.

With their loss on Saturday, the Sonoma State Seawolves were placed in a match against CSU Monterey Bay for the third place ranking. 

While they had been sent into double overtime with East Bay, that was not the case on Sunday’s match. Instead, the Seawolves would come up short against the Otters.

Alexa May would be the first to score on Sunday’s match with a brilliant powerplay, but it would be the only score the Seawolves would seem to get in the first half of the match. 

Luckily, the Otters would do no damage as they too could not place any more points on the board except for the one that would tie the match going into the third quarter.

In the second half, the Otters would take the lead by one, 2-1, but thanks to Hummel she would redeem the Seawolves, tying up the match at 2-2. 

From here on, the game remained tied after both teams traded goals. Yet, with six minutes left on the clock the Otters would be able to tie the match back up at 5-5, ensuing a nail-biting atmosphere to drape across the stadium.

Unfortunately, for the women of Sonoma State, CSU Monterey Bay’s Adriana Craft would steal the ball that was deep within SSU territory, allowing her to score and take the lead 6-5. 

With no time to waste, the Otters once again gained possession over the ball, but would soon be called out on a shot clock violation. 

This would then leave the Seawolves with only a mere 10 seconds to set up one last offensive play. As Hummel’s name was called, it would be Amanda Jennings from CSU Monterey Bay to stop the play just as the clock had run out, signaling the loss at 6-5 for the Seawolves as well as their fourh place rank in the tournament. It would be their second 1 point losts in just as many games.

With the 1-2 record for the weekend and close play in all of their games, the Sonoma State women’s water polo team had their 2015 season come to an end with their overall record at 9-20.