The No. 12-seed Cal State Northridge women’s water polo team wrapped up its season after it lost two matches during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament at UC Irvine April 27-28 against No.5-seed Hawaii and No.11-seed UCSB.
The Matadors wrapped up their season with an overall record of 12-21, while their conference record dropped to 1-13.
“I thought we played really well,” head coach Molly Barnes said. “Hawaii is a very strong team. We were undersized and they are really good. But we did give them a scare.”
CSUN’s first round match-up was against Hawaii. Sophomore 2 meter Allison Brookes led the Matadors in scoring with three goals.
Brookes, along with sophomore 2 meter Christine Cruz and senior 2 meter Heather van Hemert, tallied a goal each for CSUN in the first period of the match as they trailed, 4-3.
Hawaii held off the Matadors’ offensive attack in the second quarter and scored four goals to take a 8-3 lead into the break.
Brookes scored the Matadors’ final two goals on penalty shots in the third and fourth quarter as the Matadors fell 13-5.
Their second match of the tournament was for 11th place as the Matadors faced the UCSB Gauchos. Like the other game, Brookes was the leading scorer for CSUN, scoring four goals.
CSUN trailed at the half by two goals 3-1. But the Gauchos’ lead proved to be to big of an obstacle to overcome, as the Matadors’ lost their final match of the season 8-5.
“Santa Barbara played very well,” Barnes said. “They had more legit scoring chances and we just could not score. But we did not lose for a lack of trying.”
As of April 15, Brookes led the Matadors in scoring with 61 goals for the season. The closest scorer after her, however, was Coy who had 36 goals, followed by van Hemert with 33 and Cruz with 32.
Junior Lynzy Klein led CSUN in assists with 71 for the season, followed by Brookes with 25 and junior Jennifer Macdonell with 21.
The steal leader for the Matadors was van Hemert with 53 with Caredda behind her at 50 and Brookes with 47.
The two goalies for the Matadors were senior Graziella Caredda, who led the team with 246 saves, and junior Katy Erhardt with nine.
“I told the team to not be ashamed with the season that we had,” Barnes said.” It was the most enjoyable team I have ever coached.
It was also the final game for van Hemert and Caredda.
“Graziella was the first ever player to play all four years here and Heather had a great year,” Barnes said. “We are going to miss them.”
Charles Keeranan can be reached at email@example.com.