The girls’ varsity water polo team dove into its 2018 season on Saturday, March 31.
Coached by Mr. Berghoff and Mrs. Brown, the team had their season opening double-header on Saturday, March 30. The day started with a 13-7 win over Andover and ended with a disappointing loss to rival Greenwich 13-4.
On Wednesday, April 4, the team rallied another win 13-3 against Choate.
This year, the team is split, with nine returning and seven new girls. Lizzie Cuevas ’18 and Abbie Coscia ’19 are captains for a second season.
This team has made an impressive comeback over the last two years. In 2016, the group consisted of nearly all new girls and won one game for the season against Hotchkiss. Last year, the team had a huge comeback, making it to New England’s for the first time in decades.
Co-captain Abbie Coscia continues to be the leading goal scorer on the team. This is her fifth season after beginning the sport as a 7th grader. Coscia currently holds the school record for most goals scored in a season, and has already broken 200 career goals.
Mr. Berghoff has been coaching the sport for roughly 30 years and has high hopes for the season. “The team has great positive energy! Even though they come from diverse areas of the school, they seem genuinely interested in each other and working together. Our numbers are good, with some exciting new additions.”
He added that the challenge will be in getting the girls to remain focused on each step so that by the end of the season the team has gone far.
Co-captain Lizzie Cuevas began playing as a sophomore; this is her last season at Williston.
“There is no sport out there like this,” she said. “You can be fighting and wrestling with the opponent in the pool or even with your own teammate at practice, and you will get mad,” she added. “But as soon as it’s over you’re still best friends, smiling and laughing.”
Her personal goal for this season is to leave the team with full confidence for next year. “I want to teach them as much as I know and help them improve with each day.”
For those who haven’t seen a game, Coach Berghoff gave some insight to the intensity and entertainment of the sport. “Generally, players do not worry about their air supply while running or skating. Water is a different level of anxiety,” he said. “I think that folks that see their first game are surprised at how intense and athletic it can be.”
Looking ahead, the team is ready for an exciting and intense season. After last year, opposing schools are no longer taking this team lightly.
“This group of girls is full of intensity. They are all so driven, and they all work so hard. I am honestly so excited for everything this season will hold,” Lizzie added.