Ashley Olson is entering her fourth year as the starting goalkeeper for the Corona del Mar High girls' lacrosse team.
At 5 feet 10, she can be an intimidating presence. She came to the lacrosse fields this spring from the basketball court, where she was a backup post player for the Sea Kings and helped them advance to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs.
CdM coach Aly Simons was all for Olson playing hoops as a senior.
"They gain strength from playing other sports," Simons said. "She came in really fit."
This year, Olson is one of four team captains for CdM girls' lacrosse along with fellow seniors Emily Cannon and Emily Faludy, and junior Joslyn Simaan. She admitted she didn't have her best game in Thursday's season-opening 11-4 loss to Los Alamitos, as she was nervous for the first game.
Still, Olson is excited for the rest of the season in her fourth year between the pipes.
"It's really fun," she said. "I'm able to love on the underclassmen the way that my seniors loved on me. I'm leading them in the way that I wanted to be led. I also want to make sure I'm holding the responsibilty well. It's not going to my head, I'm not becoming crazy. I just want to show them what it is to be a good leader."
The team is young, which provides Olson with a good opportunity to do just that.
"Some of the new girls are still learning the rules even," she said. "They have this new love for the sport that we get to see, and we get to help them shape it. That's rad."
Local water polo players compete in National League
A considerable amount of local water polo talent is competing in the second week of the USA Water Polo National League, which is being held this weekend at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center.
The USA University team includes Huntington Beach High graduates Alex Wolf and Quinten Osborne and Oilers senior Jacob Cavano. The USA Youth team features Huntington Beach High senior Garrett Zaan, as well as Corona del Mar senior Henry Wilde and Newport Harbor sophomores Makoto Kenney and Ike Love.
CdM product Tamir Avital and Huntington Beach alumnus Ryan Hurst are on the California Golden Bear team. The New York Athletic Club roster includes CdM alumni John Mann and Lucas Reynolds, Newport Harbor product Chris Whitelegge, Laguna Beach native Nolan McConnell and Mater Dei senior Jack Seybold, who's a Newport Beach resident. The Olympic Club team has CdM alumnus Jacob Murphy and Newport Harbor alumnus Luca Cupido.
Games started Saturday and continue Sunday at Woollett; a schedule is available on the USA Water Polo website. Admission is free.