The women’s water polo team started competition against CWPA Southern Division opponents by facing Princeton and Mercyhurst on March 29 in Erie, Pa. The Bison fell 14-6 to No. 9 Princeton but earned a key victory after defeating Mercyhurst 11-5.
Princeton, the seventh ranked opponent for the Orange and Blue this season, outscored the Bison in all four periods. However, Martine McCarthy ’16 recorded a career-high five ejections drawn while netting two goals. Tegan Stanbach ’17 and Sayeh Bozorghadad ’15 each had one goal and one assist while Mackenzie Ferry ’14 had a team-high two assists.
The second game of the day against Mercyhurst was much more successful, as the 11 goals for the Orange and Blue tied their season high. After falling behind 2-1 after the first period, the Bison scored six goals to take a 7-3 lead after two periods. The Bison scored two more goals in each of the final two periods to go along with stellar defense to take the victory. Rena Heim ’14 had 12 saves in 32 minutes of playing time.
“I think our defense was definitely the biggest factor in the Mercyhurst game. We came out in an aggressive press that quickly frustrated the other team. Rena, our goalie, had some great defensive blocks that allowed us to capitalize on offense and ultimately win the game,” Juliane Valdes ’14 said.
Valdes had a game-high four goals, while Ferry and Eleanor Marrs ’16 had three and two goals each respectively. Hannah Sunday ’16 drew seven ejections in the game, giving her 66 on the year. This was the first victory in league play for the Orange and Blue.
The regular season will finish up on April 5-6 when the Bison (8-10, 1-1 CWPA Southern Division) compete against Harvard, George Washington, and Brown at home.
“These next three league games are the most pivotal games of the season,” McCarthy said. “We need to win in order to make it to Eastern Championships which we host at our home pool this year. They are all very winnable games, but we have to make sure that we limit our mistakes and capitalize on theirs to pull it out. We’re really excited to be back in our home pool for these big games!”