Amy Ma, Reporter
April 25, 2018
The girl's water polo team secured their spot at the state championship tournament after a successful regionals tournament, which took place from Thursday, April 19 through Saturday, April 21 at the Micki Kresbach pool.
First playing against McNeil on Thursday night, the girl's won 11-2, keeping their fourth place position in the region and claiming a spot at the state tournament. The girl's went on to play the first place team in the region, Round Rock, on Saturday and unfortunately lost 16-4, but had already secured their spot at the state tournament, so the loss was ineffective towards the team rankings.
After making state last year, the girl's water polo team became an official club and was able to recruit a new and experienced coach, Pascal Cohen-Hadria. The experienced players from the team last year were able to come together with the new players, and lead each other to a successful result at the regionals tournament.
"Regionals was a really good time to showcase our skills and see how far the team has really come," Captain Annie Bowers '19 said. "It's probably one of the most important games we've played all season, and it was just a really fun experience. It really helped us grow as a team because we gained the confidence that I feel we were lacking with all season. State's always a fun experience and I'm just excited to see how we do and how we do and how far we make it this year "
In the first game against McNeil, the girl's were playing to keep their fourth place position, while McNeil who were ranked fifth, was also playing for the fourth place position to go to state. The girl's have already played McNeil in many scrimmages, unable to come out on top every time they played throughout the season. Going into the start of the game, sprinter Emma Greene '20 was able to win the sprint and put her team on the offensive attack right off the start. Captains Lucy Moran '19 and Shannon Berry '18 were able to lead the team into the first goals of the game. Goalie Amy Ma '19 was able to block a penalty shot, keeping the team in the lead. By half-time, the girls led 6-1, and was able to finish off strong 11-2 by the end of the game with shots from newcomers Paige Castillo '20 and Natalie Caro '21. The girl's were happy to see many of their friends come support them at the game.
"On Thursday we worked really well together and it seemed to go more smoothly; we were able to work the things that we had been practicing and that felt really good, to see that all come together," Molly Sparrow '21 said. "On the Saturday games we were all pretty exhausted, but I feel like we still stuck together as a team and just to see us working together. Even though we might've lost, we still showed what Westwood can be."
On Saturday, the girls played Round Rock, who were at the top of the region. Knowing the game would be tough, the girls fought hard, but were unable to come out with a win and ended 16-4. Going into the game, the girls were missing some of their best players, but was happy to see coach Matthew McBrearty come show support for the team. The girls were still able to play hard, with goals from experienced players, Greene, Moran, and Sam Smith '19.
"This year we got a new coach so he's really been able to teach us some of the necessary things that help us win," Grace Castelino '20 said. "We lost [the game against Round Rock] but that doesn't move us out of our rank for state, so it's all good. In one of the games I scored a goal which was pretty exciting. We worked really well together especially as a team and that was nice."
Berry and Moran made the all-region second team roster, which is an award for the entire season after showing great athleticism in the tournaments played. The girls will play at the state tournament at UT from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6.