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Women's Water Polo

Vaqueros Outshine Themselves, Have Most Dominant Tournament Yet to Make Streak 19

Sofia Paez (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Sofia Paez (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

VENTURA, CA – The Santa Barbara City College Women's Water Polo team continued their undefeated start to the season, winning all 4 matches at the Ventura College Tournament to improve to 19-0.

"Super proud of my girls. They played very well," head coach Chuckie Roth boasted. "Our girls work extremely hard and it was nice to see them witness their own improvement."

Game one against Fullerton was the most competitive of the weekend. However, in very Vaqueros fashion, they would have the lead the whole match, beginning with the first goal.

A Claire Daland goal in the last minute was the only one for either team in the first quarter. At halftime, the Vaqueros led 4-2.

After two quick goals out of the break made it 6-2 SBCC, Fullerton scored 3 unanswered goals to trim the lead to 6-5. Claire Daland scored once again in the last minute of the quarter to give the Vaqueros a 7-5 lead heading into the fourth.

SBCC scored 5 goals in the final frame to win the match 12-8. As usual, they were not outscored in any of the four quarters, winning three of them.

Claire Daland led the team with 3 goals and 4 steals, while also tallying 2 exclusions drawn and an assist. Cate Daland contributed 2 goals, 2 steals, an exclusion drawn, and a block. Addie Lane also scored multiple goals with 2 while adding an assist.

Lily Carrick had an extremely balanced match, accounting for a goal, 2 assists, a steal, and 3 exclusions drawn. Kate Densmore had a solid game in goal with 10 saves on 18 shots and 2 steals.

Game two against Golden West was the most dominant performance of the year for the Vaqueros.

After Lily Carrick opened the scoring less than two minutes in, Golden West tied the match at 1 with 5:58 left in the first quarter. That would be the last goal they would score in the match.

SBCC scored an incredible 14 unanswered goals, their defense not allowing one, on the way to a 15-1 rout. Sofia Paez had 4 of the 15, leading a group of five multi-goal scoring Vaqueros.

"I was particularly excited for Sofia," Roth said. "She really made some big contributions."

Claire Daland once again had 3 goals, along with 2 steals. Lily Carrick once again was solid all-around in the pool with 2 goals and 4 assists. Addie Lane had 2 goals, 2 steals, and 2 exclusions drawn, and Esther Sullivan rounded out the group of five with 2 goals.

Gabi Turnbull notched 2 assists, while Gabrielle Muehring had a goal, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Caroline Oates totaled a goal, an assist, and led the team in steals with 3. Kate Densmore saved 11 of 12 shots.

"Caroline Oates continues to be solid defensively," Roth concluded, "and Lily Carrick made a lot happen offensively and defensively."

Day two picked up where day one left off for the Vaqueros.

In match one against San Joaquin Delta, this time Cate Daland, started the scoring, before Delta answered back with a goal with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. That would be their final goal until halftime.

SBCC went on to score 10 unanswered goals, 7 in the second quarter, to go into halftime with an 11-1 lead. They would cruise to a 17-4 victory.

The stalwart Vaquero defense showed off once again, with Taylor Classen, Lily Carrick, Maddie Myers, Sofia Paez, Esther Sullivan, and Natalie Mancinelli all swiping 2 steals.

Sisters Cate and Claire had to split the team lead in goals with 3 apiece. Lily Carrick scored 2 goals with an assist, while Addie Lane and Maddie Myers scored a goal and assisted 2. Natalie Mancinelli, Gabrielle Muehring, and Tayten Neiderhiser all had a goal and an assist each. Erin Otsuki contributed 2 goals, too. Whew! What a balanced squad.

However, just when you think this team cannot surprise you any more, they do. The final match of the weekend against Saddleback was the most balanced of the four.

The Vaqueros jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on their way to a 16-5 thumping. solidifying their most dominant tournament yet.

Eight different goalscorers accounted for the 16, with six of the eight scoring multiple: Claire Daland (2), Esther Sullivan (2), Addie Lane (2), Caroline Oates (2), Cate Daland (3), and Maddie Myers (3). Lily Carrick led the team in assists with 3, also contributing a goal and 2 steals.

Caroline Oates and goalie Kate Densmore had 3 steals, while Natalie Mancinelli led the team with 4.

"It was the true definition of a team victory and team effort," said Roth. "Everybody contributed." No kidding!

SBCC outscored their opponents in 15 of 16 quarters throughout the four games, and the excellent defense shut out their opponents in 6 quarters.

The 19-0 start for SBCC is their second best in program history, 3 shy of the 2016 Vaqueros who began 22-0.

The #1-ranked water polo team in the state will put their streak to the test this coming Wednesday against Ventura at Santa Barbara High School. It will be the first home match of the season for the Vaqueros.