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Water polo preview: Rams to host reunion game, Senior Day on Saturday

Seniors Melissa Fisher and Shelby Schaefer will be recognized prior to the reunion game on Saturday.

Seniors Melissa Fisher and Shelby Schaefer will be recognized prior to the reunion game on Saturday.

April 10, 2013

Weekly Release (PDF)

HOMECOMING: CSU REUNION GAME - SATURDAY, 1:30 P.M. MT

The Rams will welcome back between 15 and 20 former players on Saturday afternoon for a reunion game. The scrimmage will take place at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, Colo., and will begin at 1:30 p.m. MT. Associate head coach Mike Moody said members from his current squad might be mixed with former players, but that the game will be regulation length (four, eight-minute quarters) and structure.

“I’m really excited to bring back so many girls who had a big part of the foundation and history of this program,” Moody said. “Being the final year of the program, it’s going to be a little emotional, but I’m glad that we can have this game, and have so many former players join us.”

Admission to the exhibition contest is free to the public.

SENIOR DAY
Taking place prior to the game on Saturday will be a recognition for CSU’s two seniors, Melissa Fisher and Shelby Schaefer. Both players have been instrumental to the success of the program.

Fisher, a four-year starter from Danville, Calif., is CSU’s all-time saves leader, with 707 career stops. She owns three of the top eight single-season marks, and tied a program record with 16 saves vs. Wagner (Feb. 10).

Schaefer, who is in her third year with the program after swimming at the Air Force Academy as a freshman, ranks first on the team in assists (37), and second  in goals (55) and ejections drawn (30). For her career, the native of Roseville, Calif., ranks first in career assists (98), seventh in goals (126), fifth in ejections drawn (88) and fifth in points (224).

“It’s been a true honor coaching these girls,” Moody said of the two seniors. “They’re a true definition of a student-athlete, and they wear the Green and Gold proudly. They’ve put the program on their backs, and they’ve been go-to, impact players. They’re phenomenal athletes, but getting to know these young ladies has been a lot of fun. They’ve taught me a lot about being a person and a coach, and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done. I’m really proud of them.”

SEEDED NO. 4
While the overall record isn’t what the team had hoped for going into the season, the Rams are right where they were predicted in terms of conference standings. With its victory over Cal State Monterey Bay on April 6, CSU locked up the No. 4 seed heading into the WWPA Championships (April 26-28 in Santa Clara, Calif.).

It ties the highest seed in school history (also 2011). While the official schedule has yet to be released, the Rams will play No. 5 Sonoma State in the opening round of the Championships on April 26.

“Our overall record isn’t where we’d like it to be, but we won the games that mattered,” Moody said. “Going into the season we were seeded No. 4, and that’s right where we finished. We’re playing good polo, and we’re in a good place to hopefully make a little noise and go out strong.”

In 2012, CSU was seeded No. 8 out of nine teams. The Rams won two games in the tournament to finish sixth.

ON A ROLL
Freshman Ariel Arcidiacono has scored in all 27 games of her collegiate career. Not only is that the most by a CSU player to begin her career, but it is also the most consecutive games scored in by any Rams player. Arcidiacono passed teammate Shelby Schaefer on March 30 for the record.

Schaefer recorded a goal in 18 straight games between April 2012 and March 2013. After not scoring in one game, the senior has scored in 17 straight, which ranks third.

AMONG THE BEST IN THE WEST
Three CSU players—Ariel Arcidiacono (69 goals; fifth), Shelby Schaefer (55; seventh) and Kelcy Barott (37; 14th)—rank among the top scorers in the WWPA. CSU is one of two schools to have four players ranked in the top 20. Additionally, Stephanie Weed ranks 20th-with 30 goals. The foursome account for more than 85 percent of the team’s offensive production.

Not only are those players scoring, but they’re also tallying assists for each other. Schaefer (37 assists; fifth) and Arcidiacono (31; eighth) also rank in the league’s top 10 for helpers. They are just two of five players to be among the top 10 in both categories, and the only set of teammates.

Despite splitting time in net, Michelle Slagle (174 saves; third) and Melissa Fisher (95; ninth) both rank in the top 10 for saves. The WWPA does not keep track of ejections drawn, but Barott has drawn 102 on the season, a program record. The previous high was 60.

NO. 1
Several individual players are separating themselves as the best for a given aspect of the sport. And considering that 2013 will be the final season of water polo at CSU, these individuals will forever be at the top of the charts. For a complete listing of single-season and career record updates, visit Page 7.


 

 

LOOKING AHEAD
CSU will have two weeks to rest and prepare for the pinnacle tournament of the season, the WWPA Championships, in Santa Clara, Calif. Each team is guaranteed three games, with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. CSU will be the No. 4 seed, and will play No. 5 Sonoma State in its first game. Should CSU win, the Rams will advance to the winners’ bracket, and will be guaranteed a top-four finish.

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