Water polo goes 3-1 at home

By Scott Padula


The women’s water polo team went 1-3 last weekend during the Bison Invitational, beating Siena but falling to Brown, Wagner and No. 16 Hartwick.

The Orange and Blue started the tournament with a 13-7 victory over Siena but didn’t fare as well in their next three games. After falling to Brown 8-7 on Saturday night, the Bison closed out the tournament by losing to Wagner 9-8 and Hartwick 15-9. The Orange and Blue are now 3-5 on the season.

Against Siena, the Bison scored early and often, finding the back of the net eight times in the first two quarters. More impressively, the Bison played shutdown defense and prevented the Saints from scoring in the first 13:55 of play. During that time, Taylor Barnett ’15 led the Bison first half scoring barrage with three goals and an assist. Joining her with multi-goal performances were teammates Ariel Frankeny ’12 and Sayeh Bozorghadad ’15. In total, 12 different Bison received a point, while the team registered a season-high 22 steals. Orange and Blue goalie Brittany Connell ’12 also made a strong contribution with five saves in 32 minutes of play.

During Saturday’s nightcap, the Bison held a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter but were unable to stop the relentless Brown attack. The Bears scored four goals in the first four minutes of the second quarter and never looked back. Amanda Skonezney ’12 and Barnett led the Bison in scoring, netting three and two goals respectively, while Julianne Valdes ’14 and Hallie Kennan ’12 also had multi-point games with three and two assists respectively. Additionally, Connell was a wall for the Orange and Blue in goal, making a career-high 14 saves and shooting her career total above 200 saves. Before the game, the Bison honored their five seniors for their commitment and contributions to the program.

“I would say these close losses early in the season are good opportunities to learn from. We knew we could win all those games, and while we played our hearts out it just reminds us that we can and need to play a little harder to secure the win. We face most of those teams again and we are confident we can walk away with the win,” Valdes said.

After scoring four early goals against Wagner on Sunday, the Bison lost momentum as the Seahawks rattled off seven straight goals. Skonezney ended the drought with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Less than a minute later, Heather Smith ’14 scored to bring the Bison within one, but the Orange and Blue were unable to score another goal and send the game to overtime.

Kennan led all Bison in points with four assists, while Smith and Barnett each scored a pair of goals. Rena Heim ’14 was also strong in goal for the Bison with a total of seven saves in 32 minutes of play.

“This weekend was tough because all of our small mistakes piled together to create our losses,” Barnett said. “As a whole, we all just need to work on the little things this week in practice. But I think from the Wagner game this weekend we learned that even if we are up we can’t play down to their level.”

In the final game of the weekend, the Bison were unable to overcome a six-goal first quarter by the Hawks and a four-goal deficit going into the half. In goal, Heim recorded another seven saves in 32 minutes of action, pushing her total to a team-high 32 saves on the seasons.

The Bison will continue their busy schedule as they head to Princeton this weekend for the Princeton Invitational. The Orange and Blue will first play CWPA rival and host team Princeton before facing four MAAC opponents.


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