In the three-day annual Scottish Cup Tournament this month the three St Andrews Water Polo teams – the Women’s, Men’s 1st, and Men’s 2nd – dominated across the board, taking first place, first place, and second place respectively.
Starting on Thursday 1 March, the Women’s team played two back-to-back games against Stirling and then Robert Gordon, winning 14-8 and 11-3 and defending their 2011 championship title with vigour.
With the unfortunate last-minute cancelation of the Dundee-Glasgow combined team, the tournament was then turned into a double round-robin for the girls on Friday, which meant they had to approach their second games against Thursday’s teams with the same amount of energy and enthusiasm.
Needless to say, they came back on Friday with more determination, pumping out a strong 12-2 win against Stirling once more. Saturday’s game showed even more improvement when the ladies pulled off an 11-2 triumph against RGU.
After being up 6-2 at halftime, they played man-down the entire second half without conceding a single goal for the final 11-2 win.
The weekend showed a spectacular performance from goalie Tess Herzenberg, as well as goals from every single player in the field: Kristine Cosgrove, Hilary Harvey, Meredith Monroe, Nicole Pretorius, Claire Simon, Andrea Martinez, D’Arcy Whelan, Sarah Nilsson, and Victoria Stewart.
The girls, along with their devoted coach Ian MacCallum, were thrilled to have such a victory under their belt going into the BUCS finals in Sheffield.
On the Men’s side of the tournament, both the 1st and 2nd teams conquered their opponents, swiftly making their way into the final where they met each other. After a narrow 7-6 win against Edinburgh and an easier 11-2 victory over Aberdeen, the seconds went into the final ready to challenge their own 1sts.
On the other side, the firsts enjoyed two easy triumphs over Stirling and RGU, coming out with scores of 22-2 and 19-1 respectively and excited to take the whole tournament the next day.
Having played each other many times in training, and even drawn a few times, it was the hardest match-up either St Andrews team had faced the entire weekend.
Coach Ian MacCallum, being pulled between his own two teams, decided to support the underdogs, and therefore coached the 2nds in an attempt to upset the 1sts.
However, with the pressure of a championship title, the Men’s 1st team stepped up their game and pulled off a 14-1 victory.
The weekend was a huge success for St Andrews water polo all around. Taking both first and second place titles gave the St Andrews Men a fantastic finish to their season, which is coming to an end.
For the St Andrews Women, being champions for the second year in a row has given them the confidence they need to go into their first ever BUCS final and prove to everyone what they’re capable of achieving.