Due to the Thomas fire and its resulting damage in the entirety of Ventura County, many high school athletic teams were limited in official team practices due to the hazardous quality of the air and other dangerous factors. The Foothill girls’ varsity water polo team found themselves among those affected by the natural disaster. Despite this, they kept their focus throughout the regular season and when entering the playoffs.
Sydney Roman ‘19 noted the situation’s “unfortunate nature” but explained that the team was able to stay afloat and fight on.
“We lost crucial time [because of the Thomas fire] but we were a strong team from the beginning, in the pool and out of the pool,” she said.
However, their hopes of making a deep playoff run were halted on Wednesday, Feb. 14. They traveled to Moorpark High School and were unable to advance to the next round. The Dragons were defeated by the Musketeers with a final score of 5-2 in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division V playoffs.
Jaina Malach ‘18 and Morgan McKillican ‘20 scored one goal apiece, but it was not enough to edge the Musketeers.
Throughout his first year as the Dragons’ head coach, Ben Gossard led the team to an overall record of 12-10 while claiming second place in the Tri-Valley League.
As for the departing seniors, Roman hopes that the team will “be able to form a strong bond with the girls next year” while “play[ing] together as well as [they] did this season.”
With Gossard’s strong defensive philosophy and the opportunity of another year to get accustomed to his team, it would not be outlandish to say that the team may take a significant step forward in the 2018-19 season.