For most of the game, MVHS trailed behind WHS. But after head coach Chris Love pushed for for a strong defensive strategy, the game changed in the fourth period turning the nearly-lost nearly-lost game into a two-point win for MVHS.
Minutes after the first period began, WHS’ water polo team scored two goals, leaving MVHS players to strengthen their defense. Both teams attempted to score the next point, but senior Lauren Tang made the first MVHS goal of the game in the last 34 seconds of the first period.
The second period saw more goals from the opposing team, including one from a penalty throw early in the game.MVHS managed two goals, but WHS doubled that quantity resulting in a score of 3-6 at the period’s end.
“I feel like the direction of this game definitely did have a lot of shifts in it, especially since we did start by being down quite a bit,” Lassa said.
Even though MVHS struggled in the first half, they came back strong in the third period with improved passing and effort. They were still struggling to come back until the end when MVHS scored a fifth goal with 34 seconds left on the clock and another with only two seconds remaining, leaving WHS no room to score. With MVHS up 5-6, the Matadors seemed determined to give the game their all and bring in the win.
“[In] my mind they played pretty lethargic[ally]” Love said. “I keep telling them in the huddles, [that]they got to just fight through it and they got to get back the intensity that we had all weekend, and we’ll be just fine.”
In the fourth period, MVHS set out to close the gap between the Matadors and WHS. WHS scored twice at the beginning of the fourth, but from then on, it was MVHS at hand. The Matadors scored goal after goal, and as they picked up their intensity, the crowd shouted out of excitement and clapped. After closing the gap, MVHS surpassed WHS’ score by two points ending the game at 10-8. The team huddled together with smiles on their faces as the girls water polo team brought victory to MVHS at their first home game.
“We went into the second half trailing two to five and we turned it around and won by two points.” Lassa said. “I think it’s just impressive and is a testament to how hard our ladies are working and how intense they take the game.”
The girl’s next water polo game is on Sept. 15.