Amy Olsen, sophomore member of the Iona College women's water polo team, will chronicle this season on ICGaels.com as the Gaels look to repeat as MAAC Champions and return to the NCAA Championships. A season ago, Olsen was named MAAC Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-MAAC Selection after scoring 95 points on 75 goals and 20 assists. Outside the pool, Olsen is a double major in English and Mass Communication with a concentration in Television and Video and writer for the school newspaper, The Ionian.
MAAC play has begun. Our first conference game was against Marist last Friday, and despite our 4-0 lead in the first quarter, we lost in overtime. This was extremely frustrating for my teammates and coaches for several reasons, one being that we felt we had just gotten to get into the groove of things out in California where we played six games over spring break. Out of those six games we lost three and won three, so it may not be the record we anticipated, but the team definitely began to get a better feel for the plays and working as a unit. We were encouraged by the team dynamic and excited for the MAAC games, which only made that first loss more upsetting.
Fortunately, we won our next two games that were on Saturday against St. Francis and Siena. By looking at the scoreboard of those games, we played well, and for the most part we did. There are however, some troubles areas that we need to work on, and have already gone over in practice this week.
After the weekend though, I realized that surprisingly the best thing that happened to us was not winning two games, but losing one game. Now don’t get me wrong. I hate losing. I hate losing more than I love winning, and I will speak for the team and say that we do not intend to lose again during the rest of the MAAC play. But the loss to Marist was a blessing in disguise. We needed a wakeup call that a win will not be handed over to us.
Throughout the season, we have had a few games that we have walked away with a “could have, would have, should have” attitude. MAAC play will be the perfect time to start fresh and go in knowing we will beat our opponents. Even though we lost one game, we have nine more before we need to win in the game that matters – the MAAC Championship game.