Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Margot leads with her confidence and her voice in the pool. Courtesy: APU Sports Information

Sophomore applied exercise science major, aspiring nurse and water polo goalie Katie Margot has proven to be a strong asset to Azusa Pacific’s water polo team. With a confident voice and fiery passion for the game, Margot has helped the squad through her guidance from within the goal.

“My favorite part about playing water polo is being a part of a team. Being on a team gives you a sense of purpose that you are not just playing for yourself or your coach, but for those around you who count on you to do your job,” said the San Marcos, Calif. native.

Margot said she strives to “go above and beyond” every day, a quality that head coach Julie Snodgrass said gives inspiration and direction for the team.

“She is a driven and focused young woman with a passion for the game,” Snodgrass said.

Sophomore utility player Maryann Slama also pointed to Margot’s encouraging leadership. She is “very vocal in and out of the water” and is always “pumped up and ready to give it her all,” Slama said.

“She can tell if we’re not on our game. She’ll talk to us individually during breaks between quarters to get us back to where we should be,” Slama said.

Slama said that Margot’s vocal nature is most helpful in the water and that her direction helps the team prepare to play its best.

“She is confident and never backs down. She is always ready to go. By being very vocal, she is able to direct the team in order to help us play good defense,” Slama said. “We have a good goalie in the net to cover our mistakes.”

It is this type of guidance that made Margot so successful during the team’s recent game against Division I Santa Clara. Nearly APU’s biggest win in the history of its water polo program, the team fell just short with a final score of 10-8.

Though Santa Clara is ranked 18th in the nation, Azusa Pacific was even ahead at times in the game.

Margot played a large part in helping the team do so well in this contest with her seven saves and a block of a 5-meter penalty.

“[In the Santa Clara game] she was focused and communicated well to her team,” Snodgrass said. “She had a block on a penalty shot her blocks kept the game’s momentum going.”

APU teammates played well together and proved to themselves that they have what it takes to be matched against a top-ranked program.

“This game was one of the best demonstrations we have had of our ability to play well together as a team,” Margot said.

While it was Margot who blocked the shots, she still attributes much of her success in the game to the hard work of her teammates.

“The girls maintained an awesome defense in all four quarters, which is what allowed me to block those crucial shots,” Margot said. “I couldn’t do my job correctly if it wasn’t for my teammates playing defense as well.”

Margot said she hopes during her last two years, the team can propel itself into the top 20.

“I hope that as a team we can take this season and grow from it, knowing that we are fully capable of competing in our conference as well as against top teams,” Margot said.