This was expected to be a rebuilding year for Boston College’s club women’s water polo team. After coming in third last season, the Eagles lost 6 players to graduation and 3 to study abroad, leaving only 6 returning players on the roster. Of the 14 players on this year’s roster, 8 had never played water polo before coming to BC.
Despite having the odds seemingly stacked against them, the Eagles are heading into May undefeated, having won all of their 11 games by at least 5 points. Last weekend, the Eagles competed in the New England championship game. The match was extra special because BC was facing BU. The Terriers were the first to score, but BC fought back and used a stellar second half to come away with a 9-4 victory. This was the Eagles’ first NE championship since 2010.
Team captain Amanda Bolaños admits that she was nervous heading into this season, but now expects this program to continue to grow and improve. “Never have I been surrounded by so many beautiful and passionate young ladies who inspire me and each other to be the best versions of themselves,” she told BCI, “our goal is to always make our teammates better, in and out of the pool.”
Freshman Annie Ward has been one of BC’s breakout players this season. Ward, a righty, plays right wing, which is the most difficult position for right-handed players. Ward’s offensive power and aggressive play were a huge factors in BC win over BU last weekend. BC’s other offensive superstar is junior Heather Clark. Clark is known for fighting through any number of players, including those twice her size, to get to the goal and score a point. Clark and fellow junior Caroline Cook have also stepped up in terms of leadership on a team with only one senior.
On defense, the Eagles are led by Elizabeth “Fudge” Judge. She’s only a sophomore, but is skilled at causing turnovers. Judge has the strongest legs on the team and has been known to jump up out of the water to mid-thigh range to intercept passes. Additionally, freshman Sarah Al-Mayahi is the defensive rookie MVP. Al-Mayahi is terrific at reading the pool and predicting opponents’ moves, plus she has a killer outside 5-meter shot and she always remains calm, cool, and collected during games.
Thanks to their NE championship victory, the Eagles are heading to Nationals in Portland on May 4. You can follow them on Instagram (@bcwomenswaterpolo) and Facebook to keep tabs on how they’re doing.
(Special thanks to Amanda Bolaños for all of her help with this article!)