California Lutheran University’s women’s water polo team celebrated its Senior Day on April 18 by recognizing two seniors, Kaylee Kastrup and Jordan Card. The two athletes were recognized before the start of the game with each introduction highlighting the individual athlete’s successes and contributions to the team over the past four years.
The game itself was against Pomona-Pitzer. The Regals lost 5-4 on a last minute goal from the Sagehens in the final period.
According to clusports.com, the game was close throughout, with both teams scoring one goal in the first period. Cal Lutheran had a lead coming into the second half of the game thanks to freshman Maddie Campbell, junior Maggie Kurzeka and Card who helped add to the Regals’ lead.
Cal Lutheran was up 4-2 until the last period when Pomona-Pitzer was able to even the score to 4-4 and then score the winning goal with just over a minute left in the game.
Despite the loss, both Kastrup and Card said they felt good about the game.
“We finally played Regals water polo. Pomona did not dictate our game, we dictated our game,” Kastrup said. “We held them for two [quarters]. Water polo is a high scoring sport and to have such a low scoring game and being able to hold them, I think it says a lot about our defense and about our heart.”
Card expressed confidence in the Regals’ ability to win in the future.
“This game meant a lot. It helped boost our confidence a lot. Being able to hold them for two quarters was amazing. We should have won and we can win again later,” Card said.
Playing for the Regals water polo team for the last four years has been an important experience for both Kastrup and Card. Being Senior Day, the teammates spoke about their past four seasons.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot not only about just interacting with people but learning more about the sport and just growing as an adult,” Kastrup said. “You come in as a teenager you know … and we’re leaving as 21-22 years olds. If you don’t learn and grow then you haven’t gotten the college experience.”
Card also expressed what being a part of the team has done for her.
“I think water polo, besides making me a better athlete…has made me into a better leader. I think that especially these girls have taught me what it means to be a friend while still being someone that leads them, and I think that leadership is a really great quality to have,” Card said.
Both athletes said their teammates and how being a part of that team was one of their favorite parts of their experience on the Cal Lutheran water polo team.
“I just love coming to practice and seeing them every day,” Kastrup said. “I’m an only child, these are my sisters. I don’t have anybody else to bond with like that, so to be able to have a big family, even though I don’t have one as a blood line, is just really great for me.”
For Card, having a great season is about more than whether the team is winning or losing.
“The best seasons aren’t the ones where everyone is winning; the best season is one where everyone is friends. Everyone loves each other and these are friends that I’m going to have for the rest of my life,” Card said.
Card said after graduation she will be traveling to visit family in China and has plans to further her education at graduate school. She also wants to coach water polo at high schools and for other teams.
Kastrup said she also has plans of graduate school and a dream of being a college coach.
“I’m going to Concordia University in Irvine and I’m pursuing my masters in coaching and athletics, and then I’ll be coaching at the same time at my club team from home,” Kastrup said.
Despite losing the game on Senior Day, both athletes seemed to be very confident in their team and excited to compete the rest of the season and finish out their final year.
“Even though we didn’t do so well in the season, our post season is going to be awesome,” Card said.
Published April 22nd, 2015