Water polo celebrates seniors

Courtney Scrib

Although players come and go, the examples they set and the team unity they help build carry on even after their departure.

In their four years as members of Villanova’s water polo team, seniors and California natives Aimee Corsiglia, Ellen Howe and Sarah Oberhauser have watched one another grow not only as players and but as leaders both in and out of the pool.

“I have had the chance to play with a unique group of girls,” Corsiglia said. “We share the common bond of all the sacrifices and successes that come with representing our school in the pool.”

Villanova was especially well represented in the pool this past weekend. On Saturday, the women’s water polo team battled against conference rivals Wagner and Siena. After falling short in the first game against Wagner, 15-7, the Wildcats came back later that day to defeat Siena, 12-5.

After a frustrating overtime loss to the Saints in the previous weekend, Villanova spent a week of practice focusing on its mistakes and finding ways to execute better. The effort paid off as the team asserted control from the start and kept it throughout the game. Unlike in the earlier meeting between the two MAAC competitors, Villanova capitalized on its offense and broke down its opponents’ defense.

“We showed them that we are not the team they played last week,” Corsiglia, who scored three goals in the victory, said.

While playing in their home pool proved to be an advantage in the Siena game, the Wildcats struggled against conference leader Wagner. After a close first half, the Seahawks broke away in the third quarter with two-goal lead. The ‘Cats continued to struggle to adapt on defense and allowed five straight goals to end the quarter 12-5.

“We were confident going into the game against Wagner,” Howe said. “We played a very close first half, but they got the best of us in the second half.” After contributing three goals in the Wagner loss, Howe went on to score five goals and added two assists for Villanova in the afternoon game.

Described as a “great offensive threat” by teammate Corsiglia, Howe has proven herself one of the most unselfish players and hardest workers on the team. She constantly looks to create opportunities and does whatever it takes to help the team win.

Like Howe, Corsiglia and “defensive anchor” Oberhauser have also played valuable roles in the team’s success with their continual drive and motivation.

“Sarah and Aimee have been great captains and have put so much time and effort into making sure everyone on the team is happy,” Howe said. “They have really set the standard for future captains in our program.”

Although proud of what they have accomplished during their college career, the seniors still have one more goal in mind: a conference championship.

“We have worked together to become integral parts of this team,” Corsiglia said, “and are looking forward to leading the team into the last part of our season on a winning note into the MAAC Championships.”

This weekend the Wildcats (12-12, 3-3) travel to New York, where they will continue conference play against Iona and Marist.