Women’s water polo goes 3-1 in LMU Invite

Brittany Willwerth, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison women’s water polo team traveled to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) to compete in the LMU Invite held from March 15-16. The team collected wins against Pomona-Pitzer, No. 19 San Jose State, and Cal State East Bay, while falling to No. 12 Loyola Marymount.


On the first day of competition, Paige Furano ’22 scored the opening goal against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. Shortly afterward, Kali Hyham ’21 added one of her own, providing the Bison a 2-0 lead going into the second period. They maintained a narrow 3-2 advantage at halftime.


The third period proved to be a back and forth battle, with the Sagehens answering every Bison goal until the opponent eventually broke through and claimed an 8-7 lead. With 4:20 minutes left in the game, Emily Konishi ’19 scored off an assist from Nina Benson ’20 to pull ahead 10-9, and P. Furano added the final spark just two minutes later to capture the victory 11-9.


In their second game of the day, the Bison took on No. 12 Loyola Marymount. Facing a 3-1 deficit after the first half, the team strived to get things going offensively. With the pace of the game heating up, both Loyola and the Bison each scored a goal within the first minute of the third period. Later on, Ally Furano ’21 and Hyham each scored, but the Orange and Blue trailed 5-4 with 5:04 minutes remaining in the third period.


In the fourth period, despite a late goal by Sarah Mooney ’19, Loyola Marymount secured the 10-8 win over the Bison. Georgia Lewis ’22 recorded 10 total saves in goal over the first two games.


During day two of the LMU Invite, the Bison first faced No. 19 San Jose State. In what would prove to be an intense game, the team trailed 4-2 following the first period. Recognizing the need for a comeback, the Bison went on a 5-0 run, with three goals coming from A. Furano and one each from Mooney and Hyham to take a 7-4 lead going into halftime.


The Orange and Blue scored only one goal in the second half and went into their first overtime game of the season, tied 8-8. After the first overtime ended in another tie 9-9, the Bison entered their second overtime. Benson fired a rocket with just two minutes remaining to provide the game-winner.


“During the game against San Jose, scoring the final goal was the most amazing and relieving feeling as it was in sudden death overtime, so first goal wins,” Benson said. “Everyone in and out of the water had been working really hard and had just wanted to win. When I scored after an exclusion everyone was on their feet and excited and the energy on the pool deck was awesome.”


In their final game of the tournament, the team took on Cal State East Bay, ultimately securing a 12-9 victory in their second consecutive overtime win. Konishi and P. Furano each had three goals while Marcela Herrera ’21 scored two goals. In goal, Lewis made 10 saves, adding to the 12 she collected earlier in the day for a total of 22 between the two contests on the second day of competition.


The women’s water polo team will be back in action when they travel to Washington, D.C. to face George Washington and Saint Francis on March 30, and Harvard on March 31.

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