Trinidad and Tobago 16 and Under Girl’s National Team Travels 1,600 miles for SSG Water Polo
Talk about a warm welcome to the 25th Annual Sunshine State Games (SSG) Water Polo Championships. The Trinidad and Tobago 16 and Under Women’s National Team (pictured below) traveled 1,630 miles from their home 60 miles off the coast of Venezuela and landed in Fort Lauderdale Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
After dinner and settling in at their hotel it was 9:00 p.m. 12 hours later, the nine members of the team and two coaches walked through the gates at the Pompano Beach Aquatic Complex for the first game of the three-day SSG Water Polo Championships.
Their opponents, the South Florida Water Polo Club, a local club with a reputation of winning SSG Gold Medals over the years and with teams playing in eight of the nine divisions this weekend, was waiting for them on the pool deck.
“Besides the swimming and in water training, traveling to tournaments is part of our training,” said Genevieve van Reeken, a team coach and administrator. “We have to be ready to play any team at any time. Just like the teams in the World Cup.”
Trinidad and Tobago scored the first goal of the game in the first six minute quarter and built a 5-2 lead midway through the third quarter. However, the South Florida Water Polo offense picked up and outscored its opponents, 4-1, over the last nine minutes of the game, including a game-tying shot with 23 left in regulation, to send it into overtime.
In the first three minute overtime, South Florida missed four shots on goal which would have secured the win. But the game remained tied, 6-6. Trinidad and Tobago’s Yasmin Mohammed broke the tie scoring on the first shot of the second overtime, nine seconds into play, to give Trinidad and Tobago a 7-6 opening game win.
A pair of local standout teams, the Miami Riptides and South Florida Water Polo had multiple undefeated teams after Saturday’s action, which was halted due to lightning in the area, after 29 of the 35 scheduled games were completed.
The Riptides had five undefeated teams after one game and the 16 and Under Girl’s team won two games. The 16 and 18 Under Boy’s South Florida teams were undefeated in two games and the 18 and Under Girl’s team won its only game of the day.
Play was stopped at 4:00 p.m. for 2 ½ hours before resuming and play continued for approximately an hour before lightning in the area forced another stoppage of play. The day’s action was called at 8:45 p.m. and play begins at the Coral Springs Aquatic Center at 6:00 a.m. and at the Pompano Beach Aquatic Center at 7:00 a.m. All scheduled games at the Pompano Beach venue were completed on Friday.
CLICK HERE for complete results from the 2018 SSG Water Polo Championships.
The 25th Annual Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championships continue through Sunday in Broward County. Over 7,000 of Florida’s Finest Amateur Athletes have competed in 18 sports since February