Victory filled the pool as Sonoma State’s very own Carleigh Robinson sunk the winning goal into the back of the net with less than two minutes remaining against Cal State East Bay for a final score of 10-9.
Both teams put on a heart pounding performance for the fans as they battled through every minute of the game. The Seawolves took the lead in the first period 4-2, but quickly saw themselves at the tail end of the game when CSUEB scored three consecutive goals, proving they weren’t backing down.
Senior center Noelle Herrera shifted momentum yet again as she answered East Bay’s call, tying the game 5-5. Both sides of defense held strong for five minutes to end the first period.
“When I tied the game it was the push we needed to continue with our lead through the game,” said Herrera. “It pushed the momentum in our favor, we wanted to finish the game strong.”
The Pioneers took the second period into their hands, inching their way into the 6-5 lead. From this point forward, Sonoma State and East Bay would continue to switch leads, as two consecutive goals from each team were scored one after the other, with the Pioneers ultimately gaining the advantage. Robinson managed to fasten the tie at 6-6 right before halftime, returning after the break to tally her third goal of the game in just over a minute of play for the 7-6 advantage.
“My teammates are what keeps me motivated. There was a lot of positivity and encouragement in and out of the pool,” said Robinson.
CSUEB found their second wind as they netted two, but senior Kaysie Lewis and Robinson responded with back-to-back goals in the third quarter.
East Bay took the heat, retaliating to tie the game yet again midway through the fourth.
With 2:41 on the clock the question begged, which defense can rise and hold off the opponent?
Robinson answered, launching the ball to the back of the net to push for the win as her team fought hard defensively to shut the Pioneers down and emerge victorious, 10-9.
“It was a good feeling helping my team to win a big game,” said Robinson. “Everyone was working hard to set each other up and cover for one another, so it was definitely a team effort.”
Goalie Taylor Plorin came up big in the last minutes of the game, with eight saves overall.
“In order to keep myself focused when our team is leading, I have to make sure that I stay positive and relaxed,” said Plorin. “I keep my adrenaline going so that I keep performing my best for my team.”
Sonoma State advances 11-13 overall and 2-1 in WWPA. The Seawolves will play one more regular season match Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at Fresno Pacific in preparation for the Western Water Polo Association Championships on Apr. 29- May 1.