The Goalie Who Saved Santa Monica
Two seconds until halftime. The game is tied up and you want to go into the second half in the lead. You have two choices, do you pass or do you take that shot? This was the decision that goalie Stefan Stratton had.
He made his choice and it was reflected with the team's first victory of the season and a final score of 7-6.
If you were on campus on Fri., Oct. 23, you might have seen several guys running around the fountain around 12:15 p.m.. That was the men's water polo team doing a victory lap after they won their first game.
Emily Dickinson stated, "Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed." For the SMC Corsairs, this quote perfectly encapsulates their season.
Losing 18 games in a row, they finally managed to win their very first game of the season, this past Friday.
It was a tense game, but the SMC team managed to prevail because of their spectacular defense.
The offense was not the greatest, but it was not lacking either. Ven Matskin, the leading scorer of the team, managed to get two goals, and Stratton, the goalie, managed to score once from his post, throwing a deep shot into the opposing team's goal, when their goalie foolishly left it undefended.
The tournament took place with three teams in attendance, Southwestern College, Miramar College, and our very own SMC Corsairs.
The tournament was not a very big one, nor were there many spectators in the stands to celebrate the team's first victory.
However, the Corsairs played a solid game with their defense being a major factor in their victory.
A spectacular example of their defense was in the final 10 seconds of the game. The opposing team managed a steal with seven seconds left on the clock. With the intent to tie up the game, they immediately rushed SMC's side, attempting to score. The Corsairs managed to fend them off, thus crushing any chances of a tie.
Stratton, amongst all the players, deserves an honorable mention.
He managed to score once from his goalie position as well as received two ejections.
As for those who are not too familiar with water polo, Stratton's position almost never scores and very rarely if ever receives an ejection because of the importance of his position. However, thanks to the team's defensive abilities, while Stratton was sitting out for the minute, the team managed to defend the goal from multiple offensive attempts, preventing any goals from taking place while he was out.
After speaking to several members of the team, there was a sense of what won the game for the team. It was their defense. Bernando Gonzalez stated it best by saying, " We took our defense to another level." And taking it to the next level, they sure did.