The game started with the Sonoma State University women’s water polo team giving up the first two points to penalty shots within five minutes of start time. This unfortunate start left the team fighting an uphill battle against rival Cal State East Bay. As the clock ticked on, it became increasingly more difficult for the team to play catch up, which resulted in a loss with only one game left in the regular season.
“It definitely brought me down, but also made me want to go out and score one on them,” sophomore 2-Meter Defender Lyndsie Williams said. “I think that was the overall feel with the team as well. And I think the people on the sidelines helped a lot with the energy and keeping up positivity, which helped out with momentum.”
Even with the help of a goalie switch during the first quarter from Taylor Plorin to Lisa Rodarmel, the damage was already done and Sonoma State’s fate was already set, despiteRodarmel’s nine saves.
After East Bay scored the penalty points, Sonoma State was able to tie up the score to 2-2 when Nicole Groat and Williams scored back-to-back goals leading into half-time.
“After East Bay scored in the penalty we still knew what we had to do,” freshman utility Cassidy Mundt said. “At half time we realized that the only points they scored were penalties and we still fought hard.”
Although the women were playing an aggressive game, it ultimately led to their defeat against the Pioneers. Coming out of the half, Sonoma State had another penalty which allowed East Bay the opening to take the win.
On top of East Bay receiving another attempt at a penalty shot, the referee majored Williams, resulting in her being kicked out for the rest of the game and giving East Bay the opportunity to shoot one-on-one against Sonoma State’s goalie.
“I think it affected the team defensively a little, but I think we still should have been able to go out offensively and score on them,” Williams said.
The Seawolves continued to cut it short when it came to their offensive game. They let the Pioneers shoot a total of 36 times in comparison to the 22 attempts the Seawolves made.
Leading the team in points, Lily Carlon added to the scoreboard by getting two in the net before the end of the game, helping bring the finishing score to 8-5 before time ran out.
The women’s team is already preparing for when they face off against the Pioneers again. “Next time we see them we will be more focused on our defense, but even more so on our offense,” Groat said. “We will be more confident on shooting from the outside rather than rushing it into our center.”
Changing strategies is just what they need, with postseason action approaching quickly.
“Our offense may change slightly, but we need to stick to what we know works, which means we need to play the way we did when we beat them by one at their pool just a few weeks ago,” Groat said.
With their home game quickly approaching on Friday, the women of the team are aspiring to make a comeback.