Maintaining a winning record and a spot in the top 10 is no easy feat, the San Diego State women’s water polo team has managed to achieve both goals this season.
As any student athlete can attest to, staying completely focused in both the classroom and in this case, the pool, are responsibilities that require athletes who are determined as well as intelligent.
Senior two-meter defense Leanne Ford fits the above characteristics perfectly. Besides excelling academically, Ford also does so in the pool.
Even head coach Carin Crawford refers to her as, “Scholar athlete with plans to do grad school in neuroscience.”
She set goals for herself and the team at the beginning of the year, and as the season progresses, the goals continue to match up.
“Our head coach always instills the team expectation of reaching at least 20 wins over the course of the season, and we are well on our way with our current record of 18-9,” Ford said.
As far as goals for herself are concerned, excelling in both areas are clearly important.
“I feel I have met my expectations thus far and I will continue to strive to excel for the remainder of the season,” she said.
Goals aside, there are a few advantages Ford believes SDSU holds.
“I think that our team excels in pushing the ball up the pool quickly,” Ford said. “The girls on our team are all fairly small, so we tend to try getting out on counter-attacks quickly instead of spending more time wrestling; that strategy has proven to work well for us.”
Although Ford can’t give credit to one particular person as her strongest motivator, she acknowledges her teammates and SDSU.
“The strongest motivation I have to play well and win games stems from my love for my teammates, and my desire to see them satisfied with our accomplishments,” she said. “Also, I’m honored to represent San Diego State; it is rewarding to play for a school that recognizes and supports athletics as much as ours does.”