Renegades scamper to fourth place finish
Water polo: Zoe Osborne and Kyra Christmas just miss medal at U18 club nationals
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 06:00 am
By Remy Greer
A pair of Renegades from the foothills nearly had it made at the U18 water polo nationals.
The three-year reign as national champions came to an end for the Calgary Renegades, but a fourth place finish at the U18 Women’s Water Polo National Club Championship Sunday at the Talisman Centre in Calgary represented a strong showing for the youthful club.
“Our team has come a long way from when we first started playing together four years ago,” said Renegade Zoe Osborne, an Okotokian. “This is the team I’ve been on that’s improved the most and I was just really proud of the way we played this weekend and I was proud to be a Renegade.”
The Renegades posted a record of 4-1 in round-robin play and advanced to a semifinal showdown with the Pacific Storm on April 20. The Storm would outlast the Renegades 13-12, despite a five-goal effort from High River’s Kyra Christmas.
“We could have beat them, we have before,” said Christmas, a Highwood High School student. “It just wasn’t a great start.”
The Calgary team had another shot at reaching the podium in the bronze medal game versus the Etobicoke Mavericks. The Ontario representatives would prove more clinical in front of goal, securing the bronze medal with a 13-7 triumph on April 21.
“We had an off shooting game,” Osborne said. “We played really well and we were working together and it all looked good, it’s just that when it came to shots their goalie was having a really good game. That game came down to our quality of shots.”
Montreal’s CAMO water polo club took home the title in an 11-4 victory over the Pacific Storm.
Osborne was a member of the three previous Renegades U18 national championship-winning teams which were led by a strong group of 1994-born players. This year the youth movement hit the Renegades.
“There were a lot of girls who were 94s and a lot of really strong girls on the 94 team,” Osborne said. “It’s almost a completely new team, really.”
The tournament also marked Osborne’s last with the Renegades squad as she moves on to play varsity water polo with Harvard University in the fall.
“It’s really sad because they’re kind of my family,” said Osborne, who spent seven years with the club.
In the absence of top Renegade player Kindred Paul, Christmas knew she had to step up her offensive production and did so tallying a team high 20 goals en route to being named a tournament all-star.
“I got sick right before the tournament and wasn’t feeling 100 per cent but I knew I needed to play my best for the team,” said Christmas, 15. “The tournament for me was really great. I did score a lot of goals and I think it helped the team with our momentum and to get back up.
“A lot of people came up to me and said it was the best they’ve seen me play.”
Osborne and Christmas will team up again for the U22 Water Polo National Championships, May 21-24 in Gatineau, Que.