Scots fall to Menlo-Atherton Bears

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Sydney O'Donnell

Carlmont and M-A players swim towards the goal during a fast break.

Carlmont girls varsity water polo lost a tough game at Menlo-Atherton this Wednesday, with a final score of 23-2. The loss dropped the Scots to a 1-6 league record and last place in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL).

With one of the best records in the PAL and the added pressure of an away game, the Bears were going to be a tough opponent. The Bears started the game strong, finishing the first quarter with a score of 7-0. By halftime, the score was 14-1, with junior Zoe Leckey scoring the Scots’ first point during the second quarter.

M-A scored a total of 9 points in the 3rd and 4th quarters, bringing their total to 23 points. Towards the end of the fourth quarter, senior Jessica Conley scored the Scots’ second point of the game, throwing the ball past the M-A goalkeeper with ample force and pinpoint accuracy. 

Prior to the matchup against M-A, the Scots’ last game was against Burlingame High School on Monday, Oct. 4, where the Scots suffered a loss of 19-1. After such a debilitating loss, the Scots had low hopes of defeating the Bears due to their reputation of being a formidable opponent.

“This team is a really hard team to play so I don’t think we went into [the game] thinking ‘Oh, we’re gonna win’ … We were trying to focus on communicating and our defense,” said senior Esme Grenstam. “In the water, it’s hard to talk to one another, but you still have to be really loud to get the other players’ attention.”

Similar to Grenstam, senior goalie Nefeli Tsangaropoulos brought up the team’s focus on communication as well as improving specific aspects of their play. 

“I think we had fun. We lost by a lot but I think we learned some stuff … We did much better on communication; we usually suck at it,” Tsangaropoulos said.

Despite communicating better, many players felt that there were still areas where the team could improve. Tsangaropoulos highlighted a few tactical errors that she feels could’ve been better.

Tsangaropoulos said, “I think we really could have worked on just driving all the way down and staying on our players.” 

Adding on to Tsangaropoulos, juniors Noe Foehr and Maile Firenze noted other areas of improvement.

“We could work on our swimming,” Firenze said. “We could also work on our counter-attacks,” Foehr added.

Even with their focus on improving, emotions ran high. On both sides, players’ concentration, anger, and drive were evident throughout the entirety of the game.

Speaking to the game’s atmosphere, Tsangaropoulos noted how emotions played a big role.  “I could have worked on not losing my temper,” Tsangaropoulos said, before sharing a laugh with her teammates. 

Despite their loss, the team remains undeterred. The Scots face a tough opponent next Tuesday, Oct. 12, when they face off against Woodside at home.