Water women keep it close

The Santa Monica College women's water polo team competed in what was arguably their closest match of the year versus Cuesta College last Thursday, but fell 9-8 to the Cougars in true "close but no cigar" fashion. Cuesta started out strong physically by scrapping for a 4-0 lead in the first two quarters. The Corsairs, however, demonstrated resilience and came back to score two to close out the half.

SMC opened the second half with a goal from attacker Ruth Macias off of a great pass from Julianne Allison to make it 4-3.The opposing team made it 5-3 with an offensive mistake made by the Lady Corsairs; a bad pass led to a one-on-one opportunity with the SMC keeper for Cuesta, and the ball found the back of the net.

"We as a team have to take care of the ball better and make better passes under pressure," said head coach Steven Contarsy. "We have been working on this in practice."

Things went from bad to worse as SMC got caught with an extra player in the pool; this resulted in a one-point penalty which made it 6-3.

In addition, an onslaught of goals from Cuesta including a beautiful shot from Kailey. Makuta overshadowed an SMC score and put the game at a gloomy 8-4 deficit for the Corsairs.

Even an astonishing late comeback with goals from SMC's Mia Svenson and Julianne Wilson to make it 8-6 wouldn't be enough for a win, and the game finished 9-8 in favor of Cuesta.

Coach Contarsy was happy with the integrity and newfound will of his players."This game was a vast improvement from some of our previous games," he said.

Goalkeeper Nicky Yatim was in top form as she made many key saves in spite of the loss. "Nicky had her best game of the season on Thursday, and the goalie position is critical to a team's ability to win," said Contarsy.

Yatim and the rest of the team have their sights on reclaiming an intimidating position in the Conference.

"The goal for the rest of the season is to win games that we are capable of winning," said Contarsy. "To keep improving every game and to play better fundamental water polo that will allow us to attempt to finish third in the WSC conference.