SAN LUIS OBISPO — Every girl on the Bearcats water polo team got an opportunity to play Tuesday night when Paso Robles blew out the Tigers 16-0. Tuesday’s game was the first league contest of the season for Paso Robles who entered the game 4-3 overall.
According to the polls released Monday by the CIF Southern Section, the Lady Bearcats are currently in the mix as one of the top teams in Division 5. Paso was not listed as one of the top 10 teams but was one of the six additional teams mentioned with the release of the weekly top 10.
The Bearcats jumped out to an early lead in the game when Emily Christian scored just 11 seconds into the game. About 50 seconds later Tatiana Smeltzer added a second goal, and 30 seconds after that Aubrey Pasky added a third. The Lady Bearcats won the game 16-0 after jumping out to an early 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
Paso Head Coach Grant East pulled back on the reigns after the first quarter and was able to give significant playing time to all the girls on the team.
“I think the best part was that we were able to get some of the girls who we weren’t able to get as much experience during our last tournament, we were able to get them some minutes and I got to finally see kind of where they are at,” East said after the game.
This season East has recruited two new water polo players onto the roster, Sarah Clark and Audrey Hughes. Both girls excelled for the Bearcats last spring and are finally getting acclimated to a sport involving a ball.
“It is a lot different,” Hughes said. “The swimming is less of course and the ball part is really hard to pick up but practices are really fun — it's the same girls. We still have that team aspect that I love
Both Hughes and Clark scored two goals against the Tigers Tuesday night.
“Compared to winning a race, I feel it more when I win a race mainly because
This game allowed East to further evaluate some of the players on his team as they prepare for league play.
“We were able to move the ball around, try and test out our offense a little bit. I get to figure out where we’re struggling even when we’re set up, which is hard to judge because this isn’t a game where your starters are in the whole time,” he said.
The Lady Bearcats will play at Municipal Pool on Tuesday next week when they host Pioneer Valley for a PAC 7 matchup.