UCSD women's water polo to lose leadership of seven seniors

    As seven UCSD women’s water polo seniors bid farewell to the sport that they hold dear, they also leave behind a legacy that is considered to be almost rare in today’s topsy-turvy world of sports. Dana Tucker, Danielle Boyle, Samara Silverman, Elizabeth Keesey, Danielle Bourret, Kari Lyman and Renae Coulter will be remembered not only for their play and intensity in the pool, but for also for their leadership and a strong mutual camaraderie.

    Daniel Diaz
    Guardian

    “”This was a great bunch of seniors, “” said UCSD head coach Larry Sanders. “”They stepped up to every challenge and proved to be the core leadership of this squad.””

    Over the course of their careers, each player took up an important role in propelling the Tritons to the upper ranks of collegiate women’s water polo.

    Tucker, a 2002 All-American and co-captain, proved versatile at the two-meter position, finishing her career with 137 goals, giving her fourth on the all-time Triton goal scoring list. Her team-leading 63 goals this season also places her fifth all-time on the single season scoring list.

    Boyle, a two-time co-captain, was essential in controlling the offensive pace with her passes at the utility position. Her 60 assists this season gave her a UCSD single season record to go alongside her 80 career goals.

    Silverman did her dirty work in the steals category, racking up a record 280 over four years, shattering the previous mark of 174. She also holds the single-season record with her 85 steals in 2003 and has tallied 114 goals.

    Keesey, a 2002 transfer from Grossmont College, made the most of her short stay at UCSD by racking up 59 goals and garnering a .436 shooting percentage from the two-meter position.

    Bourret had one of her stronger seasons in 2003, coming up with eight goals and 18 assists. She finishes with 22 goals, 22 assists, and 64 steals from the driver position.

    Lyman, another driver, came off the bench in many tight situations. After 212 quarters of play, she finished her career with 17 goals, 19 steals, and 59 assists.

    Coulter was another key player in the calvary, coming up with 25 goals, 12 assists and 26 steals in 217 quarters.

    While high numbers can tend to create bragging and competition among teammates, none of that is to be found among this group, who humorously pride themselves as a “”cohesive unit.””

    “”We all have equally important parts. It’s not like were relying on only one or two people to get the job done … we all work together,”” Silverman said.

    In fact, the seven seniors are the best of friends, taking something that could have been limited only to the pool and letting it blossom into a true friendship.

    “”Yeah, we do lots of things together; not just practicing, but hanging out,”” Lyman said.

    The thriving sense of teamwork among the group has been a staple for success, carrying the team, especially in big games.

    “”Every big game that we played … was a big team effort,”” Boyle said. “”We played with each other as a group, rather than a bunch of individuals.””

    As serious as their demeanor was in the pool, humor reigns king among the group.

    “”We always joke around, we’re loud and we like it that way. We even have a senior ‘pose’ that we made to be cute,”” Bourret said.

    When each senior goes their own separate way after college, it is not the sport that they will miss the most, but the relationships they have made because of it.

    “”I’m going to miss spending 20 hours with everybody, practicing and sitting for hours at the Geisel Library basement,”” Lyman said.

    As the UCSD seniors ride off into the sunset, they leave a standard of team excellence that will set an example for years to come.

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