The Lady Hornets water polo team claimed two more victims on Halloween Friday, defeating Santa Barbara and Mt. SAC at the Fullerton Mini-Tournament.
You have to wake up pretty early to beat the Lady Hornets. Even with a 9 a.m. start time the Lady Hornets looked sharp. Santa Barbara took the pool first and despite coming in with high hopes, Fullerton jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating the Vaqueros 13-3.
“All of us are really dedicated, we show up at six-thirty in the morning for weights. It is something that none of us enjoy, but we still show up and do it. We definitely outwork everybody,” said Freshman attacker Grace Schade.
The Lady Hornets are difficult to prepare for because they truly have no one player that stands out over another. From game to game it could be a different player coming up with the big goal or stop defensively.
“We are a blue collar team. We are going to work and work hard and continue to work. When you look at our stats, especially our goals and assists, they are evenly distributed,” said Martinez.
Mt. SAC entered the tournament with wind at their backs. Winners of nine of their last eleven games coupled with playing the Lady Hornets after they already played a game earlier in the day, the Mounties came in with a lot of confidence. None of that mattered to Fullerton as they did what they have done all season long. The Lady Hornets outworked their opponent, duplicated their new lucky number, taking out the Mounties 13-5.
“Our success can be attributed to our defense and our team conditioning. We have had some games that were really close and down the stretch and then we just pull away from them,” said Martinez.
Fullerton goal keepers, Teresa Alcala and Erika McFeggan kept both teams in check all game. Coach Gabriel Martinez approaches each game with a two goal keeper strategy and it has worked, literally to perfection.
“Our goal keepers have done a really good job splitting time all season. We have been playing them halves all season long. Part of it is preserving them through the whole season and keeping them fresh and healthy,” said Martinez.
The Fullerton Mini-Tournament was a perfect tune up for the Lady Hornets, as Martinez and his team are gearing up for the Orange Empire Conference Championships on Friday. They enter the tournament as the favorites and are trying to do something no FC Water Polo team has ever done, finish the season undefeated.
“The people that aren’t going to work hard, aren’t going to get the results they want. It is a little bit difficult as a team sport because it can’t just be one person that works hard, we all need to do it. That is why this is so awesome, everybody on our team is willing to show up and do the work they need to do,” said Schade.
You can see the Lady Hornets pursue perfection at the OEC Championships at Golden West College Friday, games begin at 1 p.m.