Girls Water Polo Defeats Carlmont 8-2 in First Game of the Season


Chesnie Cheung

Junior Chesnie Cheung as she prepares to shoot.

Alana Abeyta and Sanaz Ebrahimi

The Paly Girls Water Polo team played their first official game of the season this past Friday, winning by a landslide against Carlmont, 8-2.

Right off the bat the team gave it their all. Grace Rowell (‘19) scored the first goal within the first two minutes, setting the tone for the game. The team’s cohesiveness played a big role in their success, and it earned them a second goal right away. Sophie Kadifa (‘21) stole the ball from her opponent, setting up a passing sequence to Rowell, who then passed it to Lulu Gaither (‘21) who scored for the 2-0 lead. On the defensive end, the team thrived, only giving up a total of two goals the whole game.

“We’re having to change our entire defense and offense, and this is really the first game we’re putting that to work… I thought we did a really good job implementing that system for the first time,” Maya Rathore (‘20) said.

The majority of the team’s goals were scored in the second quarter. Within the first two minutes, Al Lee (‘20) hustled her way toward the goal and drained the ball into the back of the net. Soon after, senior goalie Esme Stotland made a save and pushed the pace by throwing the ball up to teammate Hana Erickson. Erickson passed it to Lee, who scored her second goal.

“We’ve been working really hard at practice and it was nice to see it all convert,” Lee said.

As expected, Junior Chesnie Cheung was able to step up and make a huge difference for her team in all aspects of the game. Although she missed several shot attempts, she never gave up. Cheung scored two goals for her team, one in the second quarter and one at the end of the game. Her scoring, however, was not her only contribution. Cheung was a beast on defense, stopping any opponent that came at her. She also demonstrated leadership by communicating with her teammates and helping others out.

“I didn’t expect to win the game because of losing so many talented seniors. All I was focused on was to be the best team captain I could be since this is my first time as one and as a junior,” Cheung said.

Over all, it was a great win for the Vikings, as well as a solid start to the new season.

“It was great to have so much support, from all the Paly students especially. That’s always the most energizing support that we get but then we’ve just got these parents that are so into it, which is really fun, it makes the game a lot more fun,” coach Doug Stotland said.

We hope to see the team keep up the good work in their next game at home against Menlo at 6 pm on Wednesday.