Jan. 6, 2006
BERKELEY - The 2006 season was the beginning of the Richard Corso era for the California women's water polo program and the Golden Bears made important strides towards establishing themselves as a national power.
Under the direction of Corso, the former head men's water polo coach for the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Cal finished 18-9 overall and a school-record 9-3 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation league play. The Bears were also an impressive 8-1 at home, losing only to No. 1-ranked USC, 7-5, at Spieker Aquatics Complex. Cal went on to finish fifth in the MPSF Tournament in Irvine, Calif., defeating Pacific (21-4) in the opening round before falling to Hawaii (10-8) in the quarterfinals, defeating San Diego State (7-5) in the semifinals and topping Arizona State (7-6) in the fifth-place match.
Junior Elsie Windes and senior Katie Card were selected as 2006 All-Americans by the American Water Polo Coaches Association. Windes, who was also picked first-team All-MPSF, was named as a second-team All-American, while Card earned honorable mention All-America accolades after being picked honorable mention All-MPSF.
Windes was the Bears' leading scorer with 40 goals, including four goals during the MPSF Tournament and two goals in Cal's 7-6 victory over Arizona State in the tournament's fifth-place match. It was her third All-America accolade after being named an honorable mention All-American as a freshman and a third-team All-American as a sophomore.
Card, one of six seniors on the Bears 2006 squad, tallied 19 goals on the season and notched four goals during the MPSF Tournament. She concluded her college career with 55 goals. Freshman Stephanie Schnugg was another recipient of a postseason honor as she was selected as a member of the MPSF All-Freshman Team. Schnugg, the daughter of former Cal men's water polo star Peter Schnugg (1973 NCAA Player of the Year), finished with 15 goals and was valuable at two-meters.
Other top scorers for Cal in 2006 included senior Allison Gold with 23 goals for the year and 115 for her career, junior Vanessa Lindsey with 21 goals, and 19 goals for senior Lauren McGee (60 career goals). Seniors Brianna Llorente and Breana Allison scored 15 and 12 goals in 2006, and finished their careers with 54 and 41 goals, respectively. Sophomore Heather Stuart was the Bears' top goalie, recording 167 saves in 26 matches, including 23 blocks during the MPSF Tournament.
Cal also had five people selected to the 2006 MPSF All-Academic Team - Windes, senior Holly Farlin (12 goals, 22 career goals), and sophomores Molly Hayes (17 goals), Katya Eadington (11 goals) and Rebecca Dreyfuss (eight goals).