Women’s Water Polo Experiences Tough Weekend

Alivia Handson, Contributing Writer

The Bison women’s water polo team, ranked No. 25, dropped two CWPA games at the opening of the Michigan Invite on Saturday. The Red Flash of Saint Francis defeated the Bison in an 11-8 decision. Later that day, the seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines ended the match with a score of 14-4. “We were struggling collectively as a team and despite our loses we managed to play hard and be there for each other in and out of the water” Olivia Dey ’24 said.

 

Game One: Saint Francis (Pa.) 11, Bison 8

The first game against the Red Flash was a battle. The Bison outshot the Red Flash 31-19; however, the Red Flash outscored the Bison 3-1. Paige Furano ’22 scored the opening goal at the 7:28 mark. Her goal was quickly followed by two goals from the Red Flash to take the lead. With 36 seconds left in the first quarter, senior Larissa Hodzic ’22 tied the game. 

In the second quarter, Boati Motau ’25 scored the opening goal. The lead was short-lived as the Red Flash scored three goals to bring the score to 5-3 heading into the halftime break. Isabelle Monaghan ’24 scored a five-meter attempt to tie the game. The Bison scored an additional goal at the start of the fourth quarter while the Red Flash scored three. Hodzic secured a goal to bring the game to a one-point deficit. Yet the Red Flash found two more goals to win the game 11-8.

Hodzic secured a hat trick for a new career-high in goals. Annika Lampen ’25 made a total of three saves. 

 

Game Two: Michigan 14, Bison 4

Monaghan, Bella Moynihan ’23 and Furano each contributed a goal in the first half of the match. Despite their efforts, the Wolverines dominated the first two quarters scoring a total of 10 goals. In the second half, the Wolverines matched the Bison’s one goal with four. The Bison outshot the Wolverines 29-28 but went 0-6 on power play opportunities. Lampen made four saves throughout the game.

 

Game Three: Iona 9, Bison 8

The Bison experienced a tough match against the Gaels. At the 1:05 mark, the Gaels scored the game-winning goal to beat the Bison 9-8.  

The Bison had a slow start against the Gaels, not finding the back of the cage until the end of the second quarter to tie up the match. Furano gave the Bison a spark by tying the game and igniting an offensive boost leading Chloe Smith ’23 to a goal at the 2:32 mark of the second securing a 3-2 match.

The third quarter was challenging for the Bison.  The Gaels outscored 5-2 and finished with a 7-5 lead. The Orange and Blue wouldn’t back down and opened the fourth period with back-to-back goals from Megan LaCroix ’23.  The game was tied with 5:56 minutes to play.

The Orange and Blue took control of the game with a goal by Furano as she scored with 4:15 remaining to put the Bison ahead 8-7.  The Gaels answered by scoring the tying goal just 30 seconds later and then took the lead with a goal by Laura Rockett.  There was only 1:05 remaining and no timeouts left. Both Monaghan and LaCroix were working towards the goal for a tie, but the Bison couldn’t connect, leaving with a loss by one to Iona.

Furano netted four times in the defeat and LaCroix added two goals. Annika Lampen made eight saves in the cage. 

 

Game Four: Salem 17, Bison 9

The streak ended Sunday when the Orange and Blue lost to Salem for the first time since 2000.  A 4-0 second quarter by the Tigers gave them the momentum they needed. The Orange and Blue was able to secure five goals in the third, but Salem used the second half to push ahead taking the 17-9 win during the final game of the weekend. 

The game started strong with the Orange and Blue leading within the first eight minutes with goals from LaCroix and Smith for a 3-2. The Bison worked but couldn’t find the back of the cage for the next eight minutes. At the 6:24 mark of the third quarter, the Bison were back on the board with a goal from Furano. Salem hit their stride and sent five unanswered goals during this time to take control at 7-4.  

Furano rallied with a goal, pulling the Bison to within two, 9-7, with 3:04 left in the third quarter. Salem continued scoring the next three goals out of four to take the lead at 12-8.  There were eight minutes left but the Tigers stayed the course ending the game with a 17-9 win.

LaCroix secured three goals in the game. Furano scored four goals for the second straight game, Lampen and Sam Gove ’23 divided their time in goal.  

Over spring break, the Bison competed at the Aztec Invite and competed in a few non-conference games in California. The women went 2-3 on the week against strong West Coast programs. The Orange and Blue will face Mount St. Mary’s and Michigan in CWPA games this weekend in Princeton, N.J. 

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