March 7, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Senior goalie Melissa Fisher made history on Sunday afternoon, becoming Colorado State water polo's all-time saves leader. Midway through her senior season, Fisher now has amassed 671 career saves, more than any player in program history.
"It actually means a lot," Fisher said. "The girl who held the record before me was my coach my freshman year. It's almost like I'm living a legacy. It's what every goalie hopes for in her four years."
Fisher played the second half against Concordia on Sunday, tallying five saves to move one ahead of Krystyna McCright (2007-09) for first all-time.
While the milestone is an honor for Fisher, recognition is nothing new for the native of Danville, Calif.
Fisher posted 245 saves during her sophomore season, which ranks second in CSU history. Her season total as a freshman (223) ranks fourth, and as a junior she ranked seventh (144). Last month, in a game against Wagner, Fisher posted 16 saves, which tied CSU's single-game mark.
"Fish getting the all-time saves record is a really great accomplishment for her," associate head coach Mike Moody said. "It's been an absolute joy working with her these last four years. She's a heck of a goalie, and is very consistent. She's a great athlete, a great leader and I'm really happy to see her finish her career here and getting this honor.
"I've worked with the two goalies before who were at the top, and they're great players, so for Fish to be up there with them is a huge testament to who she is as a goalie."
Consistent is exactly what Fisher has been, being a constant force in goal since her freshman season.
"I came in my freshman year as one of four goalies," Fisher said. "I knew that in order to get any water time I had to outwork so many girls. It was a mentality I came in with; you have to work hard every day and give it your all, and that stuck.
While Fisher was grateful to hold the honor, she was also humble about it.
"I've been fortunate to play with so many great goalies over the years--including right now with Michelle (Slagle) and Lexi (Dolan). They really challenge and push you to be better. I have to thank the other girls for making me better."
While Fisher was the primary goalie her first two seasons, playing in 55 games, she and Slagle, a transfer from Loyola Marymount, have since split time in net.
Ironically, Fisher's glory at CSU almost didn't happen, as she never aspired to play water polo.
"I played basketball going into high school, but my mom said that I had to play a sport and be involved with something right away. She forced me to get into water polo. I wanted nothing to do with it, but I promised her I'd go for one week."
After suffering through the first four days, on what she thought would be her final day of the sport, something changed.
"That last day of training camp was my birthday," Fisher recalled. "Somehow the girls found out and brought me balloons and made me feel so special. At that point, I realized water polo isn't just a team, but a family."
That feeling has carried over to CSU, as well.
"I wasn't sure if I wanted to play in college, but I took a blind leap of faith and went for it," Fisher said. "I'm so glad I did. CSU is truly the greatest university ever, and I'm so blessed to be here."
With less than two months remaining in her career, she noted that several memories will be remembered, but that the bond between her teammates will be what she'll miss most.
"I can't say what stands out the most," she said. "The thing I'll miss the most, though, is definitely the team and having your family with you every day, through the ups and downs."