By Carolyn Linck, '11
Sophomore women's water polo goalkeeper Stephanie Clements (SC) is enjoying her second year playing for the Broncos, hoping to apply everything she learned her freshman season. Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Clements about her adjustment to the collegiate level of play, her goals for her sophomore campaign and how she got started in the sport.
SCB: How old were you when you started playing water polo? How were you introduced to the sport?
SC: From the time I was five years old I was on a summer swim team but when I was a freshman in high school I started playing water polo. I've been in love with the game ever since.
SCB: Have you always been a goalkeeper? What do you like about playing this position?
SC: I became a goalie the first day of practice in high school and have been one ever since. When I played youth and high school sports, I always had a defensive mindset and I love being in the action! Being a goalie is a perfect spot for me.
SCB: Did you know you wanted to continue playing water polo at the collegiate level? How big of a factor was water polo in your decision to come to Santa Clara University?
SC: Growing up I had always wanted to play a sport in college. In high school I fell in love with water polo and it became my sport. When applying to colleges I mostly looked at schools where I could continue to play. I definitely came to Santa Clara for its great combination of academics and water polo.
SCB: What did you learn last year during your freshman season of water polo with the Broncos? How have you used this knowledge to improve?
SC: Last year as a freshman I had to adjust to the elevation and speed of the game. Coach Wilbur and my older teammates were very supportive. Their help made a huge difference in my adapting to the level of play.
SCB: What are your goals this season on a team and individual level?
SC: My goal this season is to be the most supportive team member I can be. My hope is that my teammates feel comfortable coming and talking to me about anything, both polo and non-polo related. On an individual level, my goals are to become an even greater student of the game and apply what I learn to the way I play. I also want to work on my technique, quickness and gaining the full trust of my teammates, so they know when I'm in the goal I have their back.