Faced with fierce and prestigious competition, the UC Irvine Women’s Water Polo team played a game with no winning outcome, but lots of dignity.
The mere sight of USC, currently the top-ranked team in the country, made it a daunting challenge for the 16th-ranked Anteaters. In the end, UCI lost to USC, 10-3, at the Anteater Aquatics Complex on March 9.
In the first quarter, USC scored their first two goals of many but it was senior utility Erica Horman who picked up the first goal of the game for UCI.
USC continued to score against UCI until the last minutes of the final quarter when senior utility Hilary Horman scored another goal for the Anteaters. The dynamic sister duo continued when Erica came back to score the third and final goal for UCI.
Although UCI lost, the overall mood of the team was that of humility and satisfaction.
‘USC is ranked number one right now. They are a tough team. It’s a good learning experience for us. We thought we played our game plan well and that’s the best we can ask for,’ said team captain and senior utility Melissa Fernandez. ‘I think the performance was great. The girls did a wonderful job.’
Despite the loss, the Anteaters are optimistic about the rest of their season and look to improve their game down the stretch.
‘What it all comes down to is pretty much [Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play],’ said junior utility Alicia Weider. ‘We’re still working on some stuff, trying to improve on our defense.’
‘We’re slowly progressing. We’ll get there,’ Fernandez said.