Olim starts as goalkeeper for first time in Senior Night victory over Falcons

Sophia Olim (12) reluctantly started attending water polo camps in the summer of sixth grade, under the direction of her mother.

She started playing competitive water polo in the eighth grade after friends urged her to do so and has played on the high school team for four years.

“While I didn’t think it would be at first, water polo has been extremely important to my life throughout high school,” Olim said. “I attribute everything from learning time-management, to gaining confidence, to making some of my best friends today to playing this sport.”

Feb. 5, Senior Night had finally come.

Olim said a lot of things went through her mind during the day leading up to this game.

How would she feel when she warmed up for the last time or walked up to receive the traditional candy lei?

Would she cry when she walked into the team room to receive her poster from younger teammates?

But when she and the other six seniors read their speeches, took pictures, and jumped into the pool together, all of her uncertainties disappeared.

“All I was thinking about was how happy I was,” she said. “[How happy I was that] the nervous freshman I was stayed with water polo, happy the weather was beautiful, happy I meant enough to so many, to have teammates, family, and friends to cheer me on doing something I loved.”

Olim said she knew it was going to be  a big game, but when she found out who the opposing coach was, things got a little more personal.

“Not only was it our last home game of the normal season, we played a team coached by the coach which I had sophomore year,” she said. “This made the game a little more personal; about half the current varsity team was coached by her the year she worked at Westview and there’s definitely a certain satisfaction in beating someone who taught you, a student overcoming the master in a way.”

But the most memorable aspect about this game was the position she played throughout the first quarter.

“I definitely got a lot more playing time this game,” Olim said. “While I didn’t make any goals, I got to start out playing goalie. Me as a goalie began as a joke this year after our actual goalie was sick for a practice and I volunteered to go into the goal for part of a shooting drill. But since there are seven seniors on the team and six field players, I asked if I could start at goalie. I would have to say my best plays of the game were blocks in goal.”

As the game came to a close and the Wolverines took a solid win over Scripps Ranch, 9-4, there was a lot for Olim to think back on.

From the time she scored her first backhand goal in a freshman tournament to the time she poured milk on her eyes after practice to get the chlorine burn out sophomore year even to playing goalie for the first time on this day, Olim said that her water polo career is something she will treasure for the rest of her life.

Through all the years of hard work and unforgettable memories, being a senior has come to have a deep significance for Olim.

“Being a senior for me has come to mean that while I don’t feel as strong of a need to worry about how people will view me next year, I work every day to be a senior whom people aren’t afraid to ask for advice from and to help make changes that I would have liked to see during my years in high school,” she said. “Being a senior has come to mean that while I’m more focused than ever on my future and striving to enjoy all the time I have left in high school, I’m also focusing on the kind of impact I want to leave.”