By Staff Writer Shreya Srinivasan
Girls’ Water Polo competed against Moreau Catholic High School for their senior night on Thursday, October 19. Back-to-back goals and skillful passes allowed MSJ to pull off an astounding 13-3 win in their last game of the season before MVAL.
MSJ started off with an early lead, scoring four goals within the first few minutes of the game. Moreau followed up with a goal of their own, but MSJ was quick to recover, scoring another four goals before the end of the half. Senior Upasana Mustafi shot an exceptional toss into the bottom right of the goal right before Moreau’s score. MSJ held their lead throughout the half, ending with a score of 9-1.
Moreau gained momentum at the start of the second half, scoring an early goal that was quickly countered by another score from Senior Avantika Rastogi. In the next few minutes, the ball flew from one side of the pool to the other, each team taking another goal before MSJ scored twice before the end of the second half and thus gained the momentum. A final goal by Rastogi set the score at 13-3, an uncontestable and incredible win for MSJ following a victory from the Boys’ Water Polo team that night. The Girls’ team ended their season with a win-loss record of 4-2.
Throughout the game, Goalkeeper Senior Captain Valery Piachonkina blocked many of Moreau’s shots head-on, knocking them away from the goal and preventing the opposing school from scoring. She also sent a series of passes to players across the pool with astounding accuracy, enabling them to score. The team communicated to each other nonstop and never lost speed, following the ball across the pool without losing their momentum and exhibiting an exceptional recovery time between goals.
Piachonkina expressed bittersweet feelings going into the last game of the season in her last year. “It was really sad going into the last game,” she said. “After four years of playing, it feels like the end of an era.” Friends and family of the seniors as well as members of the Junior Varsity Water Polo teams came out to support their fellow athletes, cheering them on throughout the game and joining them to celebrate at the game’s end.
The Girls’ team is heading to MVAL Championships next week and Varsity Head Coach Allison Lucarelli and Piachonkina are confident about their chances. Piachonkina said, “I think we’re going to do really well and make it through to NCS.”
Photo by Staff Writer Shreya Srinivasan