Girls varsity water polo falls to El Segundo

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Guy Ginsberg, sports editor 

The girls varsity water polo team lost to the El Segundo Eagles 17-2 in league play at home on Monday, Feb. 2. The loss gives Beverly an overall record of 0-5

Sophomore Sara Okum controls the ball. Photo by: ANDREA DI BATTISTA
Sophomore Sara Okum controls the ball. Photo by: ANDREA DI BATTISTA

and gives El Segundo a record of 9-8.

Coach John Mikuzis spoke about the Norman’s strategy going in to the game, and how the execution didn’t go as planned.

“Our strategy was to get some more ball control and work the ball into our two-meter player, Rubini [Korasidis], but basically we did not execute our game plan. We had sloppy turnovers, we didn’t drop on their two-meter player and the counter attacks also were just hard goals to take,” Mikuzis said.

El Segundo jumped to an early lead over the Normans, scoring six goals in the first quarter, and holding the Normans to none. JV assistant coach Shadi Eghbali commented on what she would tell the players after falling to an early deficit.

“[I would tell them at this point], ‘You’re good. This is what you have to do, and this is what you have to change. Who is ready to face the opposition?’” Eghbali said.

The second period didn’t add much hope for the Normans, who conceded four more goals and fell to a 10-0 lead quickly. However, the lone bright spot of the half came in the form of a penalty shot goal from Ada Nadzakova with 1:43 left in the half. After that shot, however, El Segundo retaliated with two quick goals to set the halftime score at 12-1.

“It felt pretty good, it was frustrating seeing an empty scoreboard so a free shot…that [was] perfect,” Nadzakova said.

Mikuzes also touched on the fact that goalie Michelle Balson’s play had little to do with the score.

“I think our goalie played really well. She had tons of blocks, but she was taking so many one-on-nobody shots that it was just difficult. But she did a great job,” Mikuzis said.

The Normans came out in the second half energized, and capitalized quickly once again by the hand of Nadzakova, but this time in the form of a long shot into the bottom corner, putting the score at 12-2.

Regardless of the slight rally by the Normans, the Eagles stayed true to their first half performance in the third, putting up two more goals, making the score 14-2.

In the fourth quarter the Normans subbed out most of the starters, and gave some playing time to the second team. Soon after, the Eagles scored again and put the score at 15-2.

A lone fourth quarter Beverly opportunity was lost when the El Segundo goalie saved Beverly’s Rubini Korasidis penalty shot.

The Eagles ended up scoring two more fourth quarter goals, capping off the score at 17-2 in their favor. However, the score could have been 18-2 if not for a wonderful late game save by Beverly backup goalie Nicole Bica.

Mikuzis touched on what he wants the Norman population to look forward to for the rest of the season and the future of girls varsity water polo.

“The younger class has been doing really well, there is a good sophomore class going. Sara Okum has been playing really good offense and defense for us, Ada has been playing really well, and same with Rabini,” Mikuzis said.

Girls varsity’s next game was a league game today, Tuesday, Feb. 3, away at Torrance.

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