Athlete of the Fall — Water Polo (dos veces)

24 12 2010

The Daily Journal water polo Players of the Year are … Emily Dorst of Menlo Atherton and Max Murphy of Serra High. Congratulations to both athletes on marvelous seasons — and in Emily’s case, an outstanding career. Think about it — not only did she dominate the PAL Bay, but she put her M.A team on her shoulders and carried them to a CCS Championship … her second. Oh, and she could have made it four, too — losing twice in the finals.

This was by far the hardest one because of the concept — we’re doing action figures here and we didn’t have a full body shot of any of the athletes. You can imagine the hurdles there. So, I had to improvise — that is where the blue band comes into play … it helped disguise the lack of lower body. Here are the original photos — as you can see, I did the best I could. First, Emily.

And here is the one with Max.

Let’s post some of the stories — first, Emily …
… to prove at the high school level, but she definitely saved her best for last. With Dorst in the cage, Rubin knew he had the ultimate last line of defense.

“She has really good fundamentals,” Rubin said. “She’s very focused, has strong legs. She remains calm under pressure.

“One of the things that really stands out is her ability to defend one-on-one.”

Never was that trait more on display than during the semifinals against Gunn and the finals against nemesis St. Francis.

The Bears found themselves in a surprising close, tough match against Gunn and with the score tied the Titans found themselves with a one-on-one breakaway. Dorst held her ground as the Gunn player feinted and deked. Almost as if she knew which way to go, Dorst lunged to her right an eyelash before the shot was released. She tipped the ball wide of the cage and the Bears went on to win 4-3.

You can read the rest of it here.

And as for Max …
…of assists. As much as I led the team offensively (with my goals), I helped others.”

That’s the part of Murphy’s game Greene appreciates the most. When Murphy first cracked the varsity roster as a sophomore, Greene said Murphy was a prototypical hole set — get the ball into him and watch him try to hold off the defense and still get off a shot.

“He knew how to draw kickouts, but he had problems finishing (his sophomore year),” Greene said. “Last year, he learned how to finish, but his game was purely (as a ) 2-meter player.”

This year, opponents focused on trying to slow down Murphy, who was facing double and triple teams. Many hole sets would be bull-headed and try to force shots on net, to prove he was bigger and stronger than the defenders covering him.

Murphy chose a different tactic, however. He decided to be smarter. For the time he was in the hole set, he realized if opponents were dropping two and three defenders on him, that meant he had two open teammates to whom to pass.

You can read the rest of that here.

OK. Two more days to go. Tomorrow, Cross Country.

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