Girls’ Water Polo: Vikings defeat Los Altos on Senior Night
by Neal Biswas
Published October 23, 2012
The Palo Alto High School Vikings girls water polo team celebrated Senior Night with a bang as they defeated the Los Altos Eagles, 7-5, in a thrilling league match-up Tuesday at the Paly Aquatics Center.
Junior Emma Wolfe and freshman Katie Francis led the way with two goals apiece, and the Viking defense clamped down on the Eagles’ offense after falling behind early.
Los Altos came out firing, jumping to an 3-1 lead early in the first quarter. But the Vikings tightened up and only allowed two more goals the rest of the game. Senior defender Martine LeClerc forced several key turnovers down the stretch, and senior goalie Abbey Bromberg denied a flurry of shots to preserve the Vikings’ victory.
The game shifted to Paly’s favor after they turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead in the final four minutes of the first half. LeClerc sparked the offensive run with a beautiful lob shot goal, and Franics followed with two fast break goals to give the Vikings the momentum heading into the half.
But the resilient Eagles came out of the half with an early goal to bring the game level at 5-5.
Sophomore Tess van Hulsen responded with a goal late in the third quarter to give the Vikings the lead for good. Wolfe added a turnaround shot in the fourth quarter to make it 7-5, putting the game out of reach.
Head coach Spencer Dornin was pleased with the way his team responded to the early deficit.
“I thought we had a shaky first quarter,” Dornin said, “Besides that, we played great defense and really stayed positive and stayed together as a group.”
The stands were packed as the Vikings put on an exciting performance on Senior Night. The Vikings honored its five seniors: Abby Bromberg, Quitterie Collignon, Abbey Kinnaman, Kelly Stern and Martine LeClerc.
LeClerc listed off everything she would miss about being on the Paly water polo team.
“I’ll miss the team and most of the players. Just having a lot of friends and being able to count on them,” LeClerc said. ”And Spencer has been really good. He is really nice to us. He’s been training us hard, but he’s been understanding just as much. And this pool. I’m going to miss this pool a lot.”
Dornin also emphasized the importance of the seniors and their role on the team.
“We are going to miss their [seniors] leadership, work ethic and commitment to the team. Not to mention the talent level that we are losing,” Dornin said. “Hopefully some young girls coming up can fill that void that they [seniors] are going to be leaving.”
The Vikings finish off the regular season against their cross-town rivals, the Gunn High School Titans, at 6:45 p.m. Thursday at Gunn High School.
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