Goalie Emily Christiansen prepares to intercept a shot from the Riverside Tigers. (Saddleback Sports Information)
The men and women water polo teams played two back-to-back games Wednesday against the opposing Riverside City College Tigers at Saddleback College.
The women started the double billing scoring two points in the first quarter. Riverside quickly took the lead with a strong counter-attack in the quarter earning five points.
Despite their best efforts to retaliate after the Tigers earned another five points during the half-time period, the Gauchos were only able to score two more points during the final quarter.
The win marks the fifth win in a row for the Riverside women’s team.
Center defensive player, Mikayla Kosmala, despite the loss, said she was proud of her team’s efforts to win.
“I believe we played strong throughout the whole game. We fought back every single time. We didn’t care about the score, we kept trying. So I think we put up a good fight against Riverside,” Kosmala said.
The men attempted to make up for the women’s loss playing against the Riverside men immediately after.
Like the women’s team, Saddleback began strong with the first point being scored by Colton Wood.
Riverside quickly applied a strong offensive taking the lead with five points and only allowing Saddleback to gain one more point during this quarter.
Despite an excellent effort, the men’s team was only able to score 10 more points, failing to surpass the consistently strong offensive and defensive tactics of Riverside. The Tigers scored a total of 19 to win the game.
Max Maysushima, captain and field player for the men’s team, was impressed with Riverside’s performance and hopes his team will improve for their next game.
“It was a pretty clean game. I think they [Riverside] were better swimmers than we expected. But other than that, I think we were just making a lot of mistakes on our end on the offensive end. We just need to shore that up for the next games,” Maysushima said.
Pat Higginson, head coach for the men’s water polo team, was also impressed with Riverside and shared Max’s hope that the men’s team improves.
“Riverside, first of all, brought in a very good team,” Higginson said. “We played okay, we’re still trying to catch our rhythm, I think. The guys played pretty decent, but we need to start working better as a team.”
Despite losing both games, Jennifer Higginson, head coach for the women’s water polo team, showed great appreciation for the efforts made by both teams.
“Both teams are very, very good. The women’s will be the top, probably four, in the state as they have been in the past and the guy’s, they will be up there as well. They’re very strong this year.”
The women’s water polo team faces off on the road against Golden West College, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m.
The men’s team goes into the first game of the Saddleback Invitational against El Camino College Thursday at 4 p.m. at Saddleback College.