CSUN senior Maddie Sanchez had anything but a quiet water polo career. Appearing in 110 games as a Matador, Sanchez netted 229 goals making her the record holder for CSUN and the Big West Conference, leaving her name solidified in Matador history.
In 2016, her sophomore year, Sanchez was named All-Big West Conference Second Team. The following year she was named to the All Big-West First team as well as being an All-American Honorable Mention registering her career high 74 goals.
In 2018 she was named All Big-West First Team again after breaking the scoring record and finishing the season with 54 goals.
“I owe a lot of my success to my surrounding teammates from not only this year but from when I was a freshman here at CSUN.” Sanchez said. “Each year has been different with new coaching staffs or transfers, so it’s been challenging and competitive every day.”
Head coach Matt Warshaw was an assistant here at CSUN for Sanchez’s freshman year and has been able to watch her grow and build her career as a Matadors.
“She was just a scared freshman trying to fit in. Now she’s about to graduate and tackle the real world,” Warshaw said. “She’s become a great young woman and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.”
On April 14, Sanchez broke the CSUN scoring record in a loss to UC Davis.
“On that day I had no nerves and I was just focused on getting the win. The record was always second on my mind.” Sanchez said.
Emily Fuller was a former teammate and roommate of Sanchez.
“Maddie’s career as a Matador is nothing short of legendary, me and every other water polo player to have played with her is blessed,” Fuller said. “She has been contributing to the CSUN water polo team since she first jumped into the pool.”
Sanchez not only pushed herself to be better in the pool but was also a motivator around her team, she set a cool calm demeanor in the pool during practice and in games. A quality she has in and out of the pool.
“[Sanchez] is able to connect with people and elevate others,” Fuller said. “I finished my senior year as a starter because every rep and pass Maddie has taken on me made me a stronger player.”
“Maddie has been a huge asset to the program, her day-to-day interaction with the younger girls and teaching them how to be D1 athletes is something that will be tough to replace,” Warsaw said.
Sanchez will have her name in the CSUN history books forever and has impacted this program in a way that hasn’t been seen before.
“It means a lot! To be part of an elite class of former Matadors in the record books is something I’m extremely proud of,” Sanchez said. “This was never an intended goal in my mind, so I am grateful on how my career here at CSUN has finished.”