Lady Mats Polo Earns Late NCS Birth

Aleck Ryner

Half way through the season, it looked as if the Lady Mats’ playoff hopes were dwindling. In the last couple of weeks, the team, led by Maxine Sharf ‘10, stepped it up and clinched the last NCS playoff spot.

After losing to Campolindo and Acalanes in back to back weeks, the team had a sub .500 record, including losses to Buchanan High School and Rio Americano High School.

Sharf has done her best carrying the load to the tune of 81 goals in the team’s first 17 games. Next year, Sharf will be taking her game to Cal. However, her team this year has been less than stellar.

In 10 of the first 17 games, the Lady Mats have given up at least eight goals. They have only had a few convincing victories, which were  against lackluster schools like Turlock High School, Alhambra High School, Granite Bay High School, and    league opponent  Dougherty Valley High School.

There have been a few bright spots for the Lady Mats, including the play of Erin Byrne ‘12. Only a sophomore, Byrne has made some solid contributions to the team, providing some offense for the lineup.

Even with the progression of the younger players, the Lady Mats are seeded 10th in the NCS playoffs, and have a first round game against 23rd-ranked Amador Valley High School, who finished the season with a .500 record. The Lady Mats may be the higher seed, but they finished their season with a 9-14 record, an unimpressive .391 winning percentage

“I am confident that we can still succeed in the playoffs,” said Sharf.

The team is still very young and it is possible that they could make a late season surge. They are limping into the playoffs, but they still convinced the NCS selection committee that they are worthy of the 10th seed. With the 10th seed comes a game that the Lady Mats should win, but it is not guaranteed. Even if the team does advance past Amador Valley, it will be extremely difficult to beat Marin Catholic High School, who finished the season with a 22-4 record, and will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Lady Mats could also have to face rival Campolindo later in NCS. The Cougars defeated the Lady Mats earlier this year. However, the Lady Mats feel their season could be coming together.

“Our team improves every day, and in the end teamwork is what will make us successful,” said Sharf.

The  playoffs will be a challenge, but it is a challenge the Lady Mats are ready and willing to meet. If they work as a team, they should  be  able  to make a run in the postseason.