Looking for a Keeper | The College Voice
are you a strong swimmer Do you like making lifelong friends and playing games? Have you thought about joining a sports team at Conn? Maybe the women’s water polo team is for you.
With the spring sports season fast approaching, the women’s water polo team has just one crucial element removed from being competitive: a goaltender. A sport played primarily on the West Coast, Conn is one of only five Division 3 schools with a varsity water polo team on the East Coast and one of ten nationwide. Because of this, recruitment is difficult and the few goalkeeper recruits chose a different route this year. Now the team is turning to the Conn community to find the next Superstar Keeper to help this team perform strongly at the CWPA Championship this April.
Knowing little about water polo, I watched a captain practice last week. The game is a combination of hockey and soccer in a pool. There are 7 players per team (6 field players and a goalkeeper) in the pool. All players kick water when standing, but most actively swim to get the ball or open up to be passed. The only person who would tread water for most of the game is the goalie.
In training, the team started with a few passing exercises and then switched to shooting on target. The players currently take turns playing goalkeeper, but all prefer a field position. To be honest I was pretty tired just watching them, but not once did I see anything but smiles and laughter from the team. That’s what makes sport fun: the team environment working together through good and bad.
Senior captain Maria Sell says an ideal goalie candidate would be “a swimmer with some arm strength […] who can throw a ball, or on the other end someone who has played goalie before, like in hockey or soccer, who can also swim.” Sell continued that a goalie doesn’t really swim up and down the pool very often, but mainly treads water while waiting to be shot at.
Sell has been with the team for 4 years and coaches high school students at home in California during the summers. She grew up in San Mateo, California and started playing water polo in the 4th grade. “It’s weird,” Sell said, “when you come here, there aren’t many people who’ve seen water polo. [The] West Coast is definitely the best water polo area. i am from california Many of the freshmen are from California.” Sell told us the team is looking forward to traveling to California during spring break to play some of the best teams in the country, including Occidental College, the California Institute of Technology and Chapman University.
The women’s water polo season begins with practice on February 8 and their first games are on March 4 at home against Utica College and Carthage College. There are 7 veteran first graders joining the 14-strong roster so the team is positive about the season’s prospects.
If you are interested in becoming a goaltender for the women’s water polo team, contact Maria Sell ([email protected]) or head coach Matt Anderson (m[email protected]). •
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