By RAY BEASLEY |Staff Writer|
The water polo team fought valiantly against the heavily favored 19th ranked Cal State Northridge Matadors on April 22. Unfortunately, they were unable to achieve any momentum and suffered another heartbreaking loss with a score of 8–21.
The game was a challenging one for the Coyotes, but junior sensation Misty Vu, the team’s leading scorer, was able to score six of the team’s eight goals. Her teammate Jasmine Duran scored the remaining two.
Vu and Duran were not the only Coyotes to have stellar performances. Goaltender Kelsey Purkiss was able to achieve 15 saves, which was more than the total of the opposing team’s two goalies combined.
The team struggled to keep up with the relentless Matadors throughout the majority of the game, but the courageous Coyotes matched the highly-ranked Matadors goal for goal in the fourth period.
“I felt like the team came together really well this weekend. We had a rough start in the first half of the Northridge game, but we worked out our kinks in the second half and did much better,” said head coach Sarah Reneker.
The team clearly was able to demonstrate their athletic potential in this game. To outsave and maintain a scoring battle with a nationally ranked team throughout the course of the entire fourth period is a testament to the talent this team naturally possesses.
From an outsider’s perspective, many would see the 8–21 loss as a complete failure, but the true victory lies in the team’s ability to overcome the massive obstacle of never losing heart.
Trusting each other and having the mental fortitude to continue fighting in the midst of hopelessness shows that the team’s foundation is in camaraderie rather than the need to win.
“Being able to overcome a loss and continue to fight through shows great strength and heart. That’s the one thing I love about this team. They are all about learning and never giving up,” said Reneker.
While the CSUSB water polo team struggles to inspire its fans through wins, they are certainly worth admiring for their refusal to back down.
The struggles of this season only empowers them to come back even stronger then ever, with their eyes set on a strong 2013 season.
It will be these lessons that the team remembers as they look towards the future. It is through failure that growth can blossom. As the German football hero Austin O’Malley once famously stated, “If you learn from a loss you have not lost.”
The team moves forward, taking their courage and strength with them to their next challenge at the WWPA Conferences in La Jolla. With the season about to wrap up, the Coyotes look to finish on a winning note.
Through the trials and tribulations that they have endured throughout the grueling season, this unique group of girls have found a way to focus on their positive achievements, and will continue to look towards improving themselves individually, and as a team as well.
Look for them to only continue to get better, and stronger.