Women's Water Polo Back on Track After Historic Season
May 9, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The 2013 Long Beach State women's water polo team put the program back on track and also set the standard for the future. The 49ers' season culminated with their best finish in program history at 25-7 overall and 4-3 in Big West play. The Beach also posted a 2-1 record at the Big West Tournament, good for third place.
IN THE POLLS: The 49ers earned their highest ranking in the Collegiate Water Polo Association polls after taking down No. 8 San Diego State for third-place in the Big West Tournament. Long Beach State started the pre-season polls outside of the top-20 and with its final national rank at No. 8; it marks the largest margin of difference in the national polls for LBSU from start to finish.
The next closest margin of difference dates all the way back to 1999 when the 49ers started at No. 17 and finished the season at No. 11.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON: The 25 victories this year is only the fourth time in school history that LBSU has posted a 20-plus win season and eight years have passed since Ricardo Azevedo's 2005 squad posted a 21-9 record in his final season at The Beach.
With the historic season, Head Coach Gavin Arroyo also became the first coach in LBSU water polo program history to lead both men's and women's to a 20-plus win season.
The women's water polo team enjoyed a 14-game winning streak, the most ever in school history, that started mid-February and finally ended exactly a month later. During that stretch, the 49ers went undefeated at the Fluid Four, Posada Royale, and the Claremont Convergence. The closest LBSU got to going undefeated in three tournaments was almost a decade ago. The 2004 team was able to claim the UCSD tournament to open the season and then taking the LBSU Classic near the end of season.
The 49ers also snapped a 10-game losing skid against San Diego State in their final match of the season as The Beach upended the Aztecs, 8-6, for third-place at the Big West Tournament. The last time LBSU defeated SDSU was back in 2006 in the semifinal match at the UCSD Tournament.
49ERS GET HONORED: The all-conference awards were handed on May 1st as five players on the 49er roster were recognized by the league. Chelsea Parks led the way with First-Team All-Big West honors while senior Melissa Matheson earned her second-consecutive Second-Team All-Big West award. Christina Kotsia, Kelly Ringel, and Coriann Snyder rounded things out claiming All-Big West Honorable Mention.
PUT IT IN THE BOOK: In its best season in program history, Long Beach State rewrote some records along the way as well. Going hand-in-hand with their best record in program history, the 49ers also posted a .781 winning percentage, taking over the previous mark of .750 from 2003.
Offensively, The Beach had its best season ever as well finding the back of the net 326 times. The 49ers as a team ranked second with 326 team goals and posted a 10.19 goals per game average.
In the cage the 49ers racked up a program-best 319 combined saves between the goalkeepers. The 319 also translated into Long Beach State holding the top spot in team defense allowing a league-low 5.22 goals per game average.
49ERS BY THE NUMBERS: Parks led LBSU with a career-best 60 goals propelling her to 120 career goals and ninth on the career-goals list. The 60 goals also put her seventh amongst field players in the Big West Conference as well as seventh for goals scored in a single season. The junior was also only the eighth player in program history to earn conference player of the week honors.
Making an impact on the squad as anticipated was Kotsia. The Athens, Greece native was second on the team with 50 goals her first year at The Beach to lead the 2016 class. The freshman was nails for LBSU in penalty shots converting 12-of-15 on the year. In addition, Kotsia barely edged fellow teammate Parks with a team-leading 15 goals in conference play.
Matheson finished her career as a 49er with 117 goals placing her 10th all time. The Long Beach, Calif. product is also netted a season-high and career-high six goals against Occidental tying her for second in the single-game goals category with four others.
With 39 goals on the season to push her career total to 103, Snyder became the third player on the 2013 squad to reach the 100 career goals mark.
Ringel had another career season in the cage for LBSU posting 274 saves on the year to surpass her previous mark of 265 saves and claimed the second spot on the single-season saves leaderboard. The junior was also able to claim the third spot on the all-time career saves list at Long Beach State with 565 saves. Ringel also put herself in the books with a tournament-high 16 saves against Cal State Northridge in the opening round of the Big West Tournament.
In addition to her career-high season, the Long Beach, Calif. native also led the conference in defense with a league-low 5.47 goals against average and fourth in total saves.