Post girls water polo player of the year: Keri Ciancio, Boca Raton
Friday, June 08, 2012
by Matt Porter
She's not the tallest player in the pool, but Boca Raton junior Keri Ciancio is as tough as they come.
"Other girls notice she's smaller and think they can take advantage of her, but she's an animal," Boca Raton coach Jose Adames said. "She never gives up."
Ciancio used her strength and tenacity to put up 102 goals, 17 assists and 19 steals in 25 games this spring, helping Boca reach the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Playing the set position, her role was to catch and fire at the net. She often drew double- and triple-teams, which opened up opportunities for teammates. Ciancio worked in sync with senior fellow co-captain Brianna Ritota, who ended the season with 68 goals and 29 assists.
"When we get in the pool, we don't have any mindset other than water polo," Ciancio said. "She's there for me, I'm there for her."
Ciancio led Boca to a 12-10 win over St. Andrew's in the District 8 final. It was Boca's first district title and the first win over St. Andrew's in the Bobcats' 11-year history.
In that game, Ciancio stopped a St. Andrew's run with a pivotal pair of goals. "We called a timeout and Keri said, 'Just give me the ball.' She scored two goals in like a minute," Adames said. "That just stunned the crowd."
Ciancio scored all three goals in Boca Raton's 12-3 state quarterfinal loss to powerhouse Miami-Ransom Everglades, which went on to win the state title.
"It's intimidating playing against the larger players, but I know the game well. I know the places I can go. I use that to my advantage," Ciancio said.
Brianna Ritota, Boca Raton, Sr.
Melanie Brooks, Boca Raton, So.
Maria Marquez, Suncoast, Jr.
Pauline Thiemann, Suncoast, Jr.
Carly Block, Spanish River, Sr.
Brooke Stegeman, St. Andrews, Sr.
Sarah Anderson, St. Andrew's, Sr.
Boca Raton: Lyndsey Holland, Rachel Fleischman; Dwyer: Emily Blumetti, Brittany Donahue; Lake Worth:- Lauren McCurdy, Taylor Wachtel; St. Andrew's: Sophia Berger; Morgan Goldstein, Annabelle Van Olden; Spanish River: Gabi Leeman; Suncoast: Sofia Neira, Samantha de Groot, Janice Weiner.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jose Adames, Boca Raton
Led Bobcats (16-9) to District 8 title and state quarterfinals, where they lost to eventual state champ Miami-Ransom Everglades