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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports water polo

Freshmen look to fill void left by legend

Former IU goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff left a legacy before graduating last season.

The water polo athlete from Los Altos, Calif., is the school’s all-time leader in saves, has 118 career starts and earned two All-American Honorable Mentions during her career.

In her absence, though, a new goalkeeper has the opportunity to create her own legacy.

Freshmen goalkeepers Jessica Gaudreault and Mary Campbell know the importance of replacing a player of Wyckoff’s stature.

“It’s definitely intense because she was a great player,” Campbell said. “It’s definitely hard to fill her shoes, but I’m just trying my best.”

Campbell and Gaudreault both have their own advantage against each other.

They said they agree Campbell wins the size department, as she is 6 feet 1 inch and Gaudreault is 5 feet 10 inches.

“Mary has a lot of good physical attributes,” Gaudreault said. “Like, she’s a lot taller than me and a lot longer than me, so I’ll have to put in more effort.”

The two also said Gaudreault’s experience is something Campbell cannot match.

Gaudreault has competed on the Canadian Junior National Team in the FINA World Championships and in the under-22 and under-18 nationals at the club level.

IU’s competition begins this weekend when it opposes San Jose State and Colorado State on Saturday and San Diego State and University of California, Los Angeles on Sunday. Although the opener is just days away, IU Coach Barry King has not yet determined which freshman will start.

Despite his lack of choice, however, King said the starting job will be up for grabs for the remainder of the season.

“Everything gets reevaluated during practice every day,” he said.

King also said IU’s goalkeeper situation isn’t unique.

“Cassie’s class of goaltenders that came out that year was really good all across the country,” he said. “A bunch of us are facing the same thing that’s happening here. We’re all playing with freshmen or untested keepers, so it will be interesting at the
beginning.”

Campbell said it isn’t impossible to match Wyckoff’s numbers.

“I don’t know specifically any of them, but that would be awesome to try and do that,” she said.

Wyckoff’s numbers rank among IU’s best. During her water polo career, she made 1,108 saves and faced 3,014 shots, which are current IU records and top the second-place numbers by 217 and 981, respectively. Her 6.59 goals-against average is the third best among goalkeepers that played more than one season and is exceptional considering the number of shots she’s faced.

Wyckoff also twice broke the single-season record for both saves and shots faced in a season. She owns four of the top 11 records for saves and four of the top eight in shots faced in a single season and holds the record for each one. No other IU goalkeeper has received an All-American Honorable Mention, but Wyckoff has two.

Campbell said she’s a bit intimidated by those numbers.

“But, I don’t know,” she said. “Maybe I’ll eventually be where she was.”

Before any records can be broken, though, either Campbell or Gaudreault must win the starting job. Campbell said the competition between the two has been intense, so far, and it will be hard to tell if one of them can keep the starter’s role throughout the season.

“I think we match up pretty well against each other,” she said.

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