skip navigation

Three cheers for the Region 2 Area Champs – Stratford Girls Water Polo!

By Michele Higgins, 10/16/23, 11:20PM CDT


vs. Lamar

It was a contest that proved the Spartans are well-equipped to battle to the end for a victory. The game against the Lamar Texans at Lamar started off with the signature winning swim-off by sophomore Molly Kate Minyard and a tap-over to senior co-captain Emma JacksonEarly nerves by the entire field may be to blame for the scoreless first 4 minutes. Both teams played aggressive defense and missed many shots on goal until finally senior co-captain Lily Askounis found sophomore Elizabeth Conner in good position for a nice inside left goal. 1-0 Stratford. Lamar quickly responded, and it was 1-2 after one period of play.

Early in the second the game, tied up 2-2,  Jackson found Conner, who fired in a rocket from the right. Askounis was relentless on the D, joined by Jackson and juniors Avery Garcia and Sarah Beth Roady. Sophomore goalie sensation Emmie Hanvey earned her stripes in the second with block after unbelievable block, keeping the Spartans in the game with a 2-2 tie at the half.

The co-captains found their rhythm early in the third when Jackson intercepted a Lamar pass, swam it down the pool and lobbed to Askounis in position to fire one in: 3-2 Stratford. A 5-meter penalty tied the score at 3-3; Hanvey continued to masterfully deflect and defend. Roady found Conner for a power shot and a 4-3 lead, but another penalty tied the score again at 4s. The nat was hot and the tensions were high when late in the third period, MK Minyard found Garcia for a nice inside goal, and Hanvey showed her throwing prowess with a perfectly placed pass to a cutting Askounis.

It was 6-4 going into the fourth. It was Hanvey on a heads-up pass to Conner, who made a strong right-side shot for a hat trick plus 1 and to give the Spartans a comfortable 7-4 lead. With about 4:00 left in the game, Askounis and Roady were both called for 3rd fouls and “rolled” out. Quickly it was 7-5. The team tightened the ranks with strong contributions from senior Lindsay Wong and junior Hana RileyEmmie Hanvey made a monster block at 3:20; Conner and Jackson turned on the defense. Lamar snuck in another goal, but the Spartans held on and the clock ran out. Final score: Stratford 7, Lamar 6. On to Regions!

vs. Cy Lakes

The girls had a much easier time of it last Tuesday when they met Cy Lakes at the WW Emmons Natatorium. It was a Spartans v Spartans match-up, but the warrior strength was definitely with the home team in Stratford’s 17-7 victory. Lots of scoring in the first 7 minutes: sophomore Elizabeth Conner and her golden arm scored 4, senior co-captain Lily Askounis popped in two, and senior co-captain Emma Jackson and junior Avery Garcia each added one. Nice assists came from senior Lindsay Wong and junior Sarah Beth Roady. 8-3 after one.

In the second, super-sprinter sophomore Molly Kate Minyard and junior defensive specialist Hana Riley scored one goal each: 11-3 at the half.

More points on the board in the third when Conner threw a cross-pool rocket to Askounis, who slammed it in for one. Jackson contributed 2 in the second period with her signature 5-meter penalty skip shot and a strong midfield bullet with seconds remaining on the shot clock. Freshman Audry Bown found Lindsay Wong, who made a beautiful spin-around shot. Sophomore goalie Emmie Hanvey had her fair share of blocks when the ball was in her area and showed off her strength with a long bomb to Elizabeth Conner for a goal; 16-5 at the end of three.

Everyone who suited up got wet last Tuesday. Freshmen Luisa Becerra and Jill Hyland showed impressive defensive skills in the fourth quarter, and sophomore goalie Bella Smith had back-to-back saves and closed out the period with a beautiful fingertip block. The final goal was from Hana Riley in set with a nice turnaround shot off an assist from Emma Jackson. Stratford 17, Cy Lakes 7, giving Stratford the Bi-District title.

The girls enter Regional competition on Tuesday, October 17th at 5:30 pm in a game against Bridgeland. Come out to show your support and see some great polo. Go Big Green!