Braves Invaded by the Gauls
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BALDWIN PARK, CA– On Thursday, February 9, the BPHS Girls’ Varsity Water Polo team was defeated by the Webb School Gauls on home territory with a score of 18 to 0. Family and friends filled up the seats at the pool due to the fact that it was Senior Night for most of the girls. Win or lose, they were supportive of the girls until the end.
Natalie Parada, senior co-captain of the team, commented, “It has been an honor to be co-captain of the girls 2016-2017 water polo team. My girls are amazing. They worked so hard to get to where we are today.”
Just as the game started, the Gauls got the ball and scored within the first two minutes. Ana Amador swam at full speed, in order for the ball to be in the Lady Braves’ possession. However, the Gauls’ intense teamwork and speed was no match for them. They continued to steal the ball and score successfully without trouble. The Lady Braves were being pressed and couldn’t get past their opponents. The BPHS goalie, Jessica Escobedo, wasn’t able to block the Gauls’ aggressive shots. As Parada passed to Angie Maya, a Gaul stole the ball, and Siouxzie Medina attempted to steal back. Parada passed to Nayelli Ramos down the line and she tried to pass to Medina, however, they were in danger as they got to the opponent’s goal. Overall, both the Gauls’ offense and defense were stronger than the Lady Braves. Throughout the quarter, Medina kept trying to steal the ball away from the Gauls and Escobar continued to have a hard time with the opponents attacking her. Escobedo threw the ball to Medina and she passed to Jaylene Rosales to shoot, but the Gauls’ goalie blocked it. Again, Escobedo passed to Ramos and then to Amador to shoot, but the ball went to a Gaul. Just as Maya passed the ball to Escobar, the first quarter ended with 6 to 0, the Lady Braves behind.
The second quarter consisted of the Lady Braves focusing more on defense. Alyssa Velasco attempted to gain possession of the ball the whole time. Amador passed to Ramos and she passed down the line to Maya, but the ball was stolen in the blink of an eye. Maya and Medina both passed the ball to each other, needing their teammates’ help and wanting to find the right strategy. Escobedo prevented another shot from the Gauls, earning a round of applause from the spectators. Medina swam toward the goal and aimed to shoot, however, the Gauls blocked her. Right when the Gauls tried to score for the last time in the second quarter, Escobedo blocked them again, ending with 12 to 0. Escobedo was the highlight of the quarter, as she fortunately prevented the Gauls from scoring even more goals.
Struggling to keep their spirits up, our Braves tried their hardest to score. Unfortunately, the Gauls were very aggressive in this quarter and it showed when they were able to score once more at the beginning of their shot clock. Ramos tried to pass it to Maya, who would then pass it to Katleen Bolanos, but it was quickly stolen by a Gaul. Webb played with an effective strategy that challenged all of the Braves’ weak points. At this point in the third quarter, it was obvious that the ladies were exhausted, failing to keep up with the quick pace. The ladies of Webb were able to set themselves up with ease and made an impressive shot, while the Braves struggled to steal the ball away. Alyssa Velasco passed the ball to Medina, who then passed it to Bolanos. However, there was no one for her to pass it to and she was soon overpowered by a Gaul. Ramos passed the ball to Medina, who then passed it back to her to score. The Gauls were able to sneak into her line of shot and score, ending the quarter 17 to 0.
Jade Escobar attempted to pass to Ramos, but it was quickly stolen. Ramos did manage to steal the ball back and passed to Escobar, but it was also stolen. Ramos passed to Amador and she frantically shot for the goal, but threw too far. Bolanos was also one of the players who persistently went on offense, trying to steal from the Gauls. The Gauls were taking the game easily, using their teamwork to gain more goals. As the Gauls aggressively threw the ball to Escobedo, she successfully blocked it. Amador passed to Parada, then to Medina, and back to Parada so she could shoot, but the Webb goalie was too smart and prevented her from scoring. Maya struggled passing to her teammates and the Gauls stole again with ease. The Gauls were only able to score on the Braves once more, ending the quarter 18 to 0.
Parada also commented, “They [the rest of her teammates] didn’t give up, and put their all into the sport. I am very proud of every single one of them.”