The CSU water polo team wrapped up its second season in school history by finishing 2-1 over the weekend at the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships in San Diego.
The Rams (17-21) lost their opening round game to Sonoma State, but went on to beat UC-Santa Cruz and Chapman University in consolation games.
The Rams were able to finish the tournament and their season on a positive note, by defeating UCSC 6-1. The victory placed the team ninth for the second consecutive year in the WWPA.
“We ended up in ninth place this year much like last year, which is more gratifying because we played solid this year in all our games,” said coach John Mattos.
Emily Chambers recorded a hat trick in the game while Annie Quinn and Laurien White ended their season with a goal apiece.
In Saturday’s game against Chapman, White powered two more goals home to help the Rams defeat the Panthers 7-3.
The match was tied at two goals apiece throughout most of the first half until the Ram offense took control.
CSU scored four unanswered goals to build a 6-2 lead in the fourth period. Each team added a goal late in the final period and the Rams came away with the four-goal victory.
Marisa Fernandez scored twice, while Shari Worack, Chambers and Quinn each had one goal.
The first round did not go as hoped as CSU suffered a loss to Sonoma State. The Rams fell behind early to SSU 2-0 before Quinn scored a goal with just over a minute left in the first period to cut the deficit in half.
White led the Rams with four goals in the contest, but her performance was not enough to keep the team from falling into the tournament’s consolation bracket.
White tried to rally her team from behind in the final quarter, but her two goals in the fourth were not enough to prevent SSU from defeating the Rams for the second time in three games this season.
Three seniors, Marisa Fernandez, Lisa Pretz and Holly Stanfill, will graduate this year.
“They (seniors) did an outstanding job and had an outstanding tournament and will be missed next year,” Mattos said.
Although the team finished in the same place in the conference as last year, it more than doubled its win total, from eight to 17.
Coach Mattos has announced that five athletes have signed national letters of intent to play water polo for the university next year.
Krystyna McCright and Kathleen Armstrong, both from Poway, Calif., along with Shannon Kohl and Kailin Custy, will all suit up for the Rams in 2007.
“We’ve had a lot of complements on our team this year so hopefully we’ll step it up even more next year and win the first game of the conference tournament with a better seeding,” Mattos said.