This past Saturday, the Sonoma State women's water polo team battled the visiting conference rivals, the Pioneers of Cal State East Bay. Sonoma State looked to bounce back after suffering a blow out loss to UC San Diego just a week prior.
The game was made even more meaningful as before the game the Seawolves honored their three graduating seniors: Amanda Weddle, Taylor Brooks, and Kelly Failner.
Junior Cassidy Mundt expressed her appreciation for the departing seniors pre-game.
“I’m very sad to see them go, but also extremely excited to see what the future holds for them. They are going to do great things out there and I couldn’t be happier for them,” she said.
The Seawolves would get the scoring started as sophomore Hailey Gilbert would strike from short range, giving the Seawolves an early 1-0 lead with 2:15 left in the opening period.
However, the Pioneers would respond with a goal of their own right before the close of the first period marking the score a 1-1 tie. Out of the break, it seemed that East Bay was capturing momentum as they struck for two quick goals. Making it a 3-1 game with 5:42 left in the second period.
But just when things started to get away from the Seawolves, Senior Jordan Williams lasered a goal home, drawing things closer.
The two teams battled and traded goals with eachother, but with just twenty-two ticks left in the half senior Taylor Brooks would have her spotlight moment as she would pound a goal home with authority and tied the score at 4-4 at the end of the first half.
While no one was going to complain about being tied at the half, the Seawolves seemed to have been hit with a bit of bad luck.
In the first half alone, Sonoma State had four shots clang just of the crossbar, all of which had the potential to go in.
Senior Kelly Failner said, “It’s always frustrating when things aren't going right on offense because we have a lot of potential there. We just happened to have an off day Saturday.”
While both teams had a surplus of solid looks and shots on goal in the first and second period, the same could not be said for the third period. The period was a battle of defenses, as Sonoma State goalie Brook Sullivan had the net on lockdown, collecting five saves in the third period alone.
Still, in spite of Brooks and the rest of the Seawolves defensive efforts, the Pioneers would still be able to find the back of the net with 2:07 left in the quarter, pulling East Bay ahead 5-4 heading into the final period.
Failner talked about East Bay’s defense and said, “at practice we mimicked their defensive set up so we were definitely prepared. We just couldn't execute our shots.”
The offensive would again come back to life in the final period. Both teams traded goals, with East Bay netting themselves a goal with 5:03 left. Shortly after lightning would strike for Sonoma State as Williams would find the back of the net for the second time. This time was from long range, pulling the Seawolves to within one point with 4:38 left in the contest.
Sonoma State would have a couple more open looks, but unfortunately, none would find the back of the net. Cal State East Bay added one more goal with less than 2 minutes, icing the game and giving us the final score of 7-5.
As the final horn sounded the crowd came to their feet and gave one more round of applause for the three departing seniors.
After the game Kelly Failner spoke about her final game at Sonoma State and the time she had spent with her teammates. “What I’ll remember most are the friendships I’ve made. My teammates are really some of the most inspiring and genuine people I have had the pleasure of knowing,” said Failner.
Sonoma State looks to bounce back, as they travel to Fresno Pacific University and battle the Sun Birds Friday, April 19th in what will be the Seawolves final game of the regular season.