Not one to mince words about his teams, CSM head water polo coach Randy Wright made no bones about his team’s pending bout with West Valley College Tuesday at the College of San Mateo.
“It’s a big one. We’ve had this one circled for a long time,” Wright said. “Essentially, this is the battle for third place.This is conference. This is when it counts.We’re ready to go.”
The game, scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start at CSM, is huge considering that every game has added significance in the Coast Conference. With Foothill College the head-and-shoulders team, it’s looking more and more like CSM, West Valley and Cabrillo will be battling for spots 2 through 4 in the standings. That is huge if you’re the Bulldogs and you want to advance far, thus avoiding the Owls (a lock for the No 1 seed) early come conference tournament time.
“We have to play well,” Wright said. “We have to go out and do what we set out to do in terms of a game plan. The game plan for this game is probably more important than for any opponent we’ve had this season just because they’re so specifically designed around two players. I think the girls are ready. The girls have been preparing. Now it’s time to play.”
Wright mentioned the Vikings’ two superstars, who are the focus of the attack, on a number of ocassions during Tuesday’s weekly press conference. “You have to run your defense to make sure those two players don’t beat you,” Wright said. “If we make this a team game, we have the better team. If we make this an all-star shoot out, they have the all stars. So, definitely we have been focusing on forcing their team to beat us. This is a big one. It’s a big home game. It’ll provide momentum for the last week and a half of the regular season and it’ll definitely set us up for the conference tournament.”
CSM and West Valley have already locked up twice this season with one win apiece, with the Bulldogs winning the first meeting and the Vikings taking the rematch a week later.
“First time, we weren’t completely sharp, but we really forced the other players to contribute,” Wright said of a 10-6 win. “The turnovers and missed shots that we had didn’t penalize us.” Erica Staben scored four times in that victory.
The second time was a completely different story. CSM turned the ball over on its first five possessions and before they knew it, they were down 3-0 — which turned out to be the margin of victory for West Valley.
“We were flat,” Wright said “They’re a real-deal team. This is a team that competes at the same level as us. I think the big factor was our mistakes really costs us the second time around. The first time we escaped and were able to control tempo.”
Elsewhere in community college sports, the Cañada women’s soccer surrendered three first-half goals in a 3-0 loss to the Dons of De Anza. The Colts are still winless on the season.
The Cañada men, however, clicked on all cylinders in a 6-0 win over Ohlone College. Khalid Arramdani continued his torrid scoring pace with a hat trick. He now has 10 goals on the season.
Guillermo Garcia notched a trio of assists. The win puts the Colts at 4-3 in Coast Conference play and 5-7-2 overall.