This is Vanguard’s first year with a water polo program, which hired head coach Ed Carrera to bring the university up to speed in both men’s and women’s polo. Carrera was previously the assistant coach of both the men’s and women’s squads at Concordia University and also coached the boys and girls squads of Northwood High School in Irvine. This past weekend, women’s water polo team headed up to UC Santa Barbara to compete in the UCSB Winter Invite tournament against some of the top ranked schools in the nation.
The Lions’ first game was against UC San Diego, a top tier water polo team who handed the Lions a 24-5 as their first result of the tournament. Both freshman Cara Deckert and junior Lindsay McCance had a pair of goals, as well as freshman Kathryn Cookingham, who added to the total with a goal of her own.
Game two of the tournament pitted the Lions against the Cal State University Bakersfield Roadrunners, another tough opponent, which resulted in a 20-4 loss. Cookingham had a hat trick of goals, along with freshman Kaila Ross, who put in the 4th and final goal of the game. Freshman goalkeeper Jenny Pham, respectively, had 5 saves in the game against the Roadrunners.
The Lions’ struggles continued in the third game, which they lost by a score of 22-1. Freshman Alessandra Sanchez had the only goal in the match.
In the final game of the UCSB Invite, the Lions faired better, but they still are looking for the elusive first win. Losing by a score of 8-12 to Sonoma State, the Lions were led offensively by Cookingham, who had four goals, and Deckert, who tallied two of her own. Pham had 11 saves for the match.
Vanguard sits with an 0-4 record and will next hit the pool Feb. 4 and 5 at the Lancer Invite hosted by Cal Baptist University. Game times on Feb. 4 are 9:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., while matches on Feb. 5 have start times of 10:20 a.m. and 2:20 p.m.