Led by a double hat trick (six goals) from senior Kathryn Peak and four goals from fellow senior Mariah Walker, the Santa Clara Bruins water polo squad had little problem putting away their cross-town rival Chargers on Tuesday. All told Santa Clara scored 14 times, winning by a final of 14-4.
“I think we played really well, we communicated well,” remarked Walker, a four-year varsity player. “We executed our switches, nobody was really behind on anything, we played really well today.”
“I feel like we did well overall,” echoed Peak, likewise a four-year varsity player. “Some things that we went into the game unsure about actually turned out a lot better than we thought. The effort level was much better than in years past.”
According to Bruins Head Coach Aja Bumbaca, both Peak and Walker have the ability to play Division I water polo at the next level.
“[Mariah] is a D1 player, she is going to have to make a decision on where she wants to go to school, Kat is also a really good player and will have to make a choice on where she wants to attend as well.”
Two future Division I players was a tall task for the Wilcox defense. Chargers captain Marisa Lipari plays with Peak and Walker on a club team.
“I know them very well, they are really great players,” praised Lipari. “That’s something you just have to work on defensively and make adjustments to try and stop players of that caliber.”
Wilcox Head Coach Rich Cruzen had high praise for Lipari as one of the team leaders.
“She’s pretty dedicated to the sport, she’s been playing club for a number of years. She’s a senior now and has a vast knowledge of the game. She really helps the other girls learn. We wouldn’t be the same team without her for sure.”
Despite seeing double-digit goals go past her, Chargers goalie Kaitlyn Wang was an impressive standout for Wilcox. Wang made a number of strong saves in a game that could have otherwise been 20 or more on the board for the Bruins.
“Honestly, she made some great saves,” praised Lipari on her fellow captain. “A lot of the time it’s not a goalie’s fault. Sometimes, there are defensive mistakes that we have to work on and there’s also some really great shooters out there.”
With the great shooters the Bruins have, the expectations are quite high.
“I feel like we can win a league championship this year,” admitted Walker. “We played really well today, I hope we can carry this on throughout the whole season.”
“I think we can make it to CCS” added Peak. “I think we can make it if we put up our best effort this season.”
With the victory, the Bruins take a 1-0 record into action on Thursday, Sept. 12 when they play at Cupertino. The Chargers meanwhile will look to even their record at 1-1 on Thursday when they play host to Monta Vista.