RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team (6-8) battled hard against some tough competition at the Lancer Invitational, but ultimately finished the first day with a 1-1 record. The Athenas faced Azusa Pacific University for the third time this season and took a tough 8-5 loss before bouncing back with a dominant 13-7 victory over Concordia University (Irvine).
Junior Jessica Gaffney (CMC) has had a phenomenal start to the tournament, scoring seven goals, including six against Concordia, while senior Ellen Perfect (CMC) has totaled two goals and four steals.
The Athenas were anxious to get their first win over the Cougars after losing their prior two meetings, and got on board first with 3:18 left on the clock when sophomore Emma Choy (CMC) got the opening goal. With less than a minute left, familiar foe Britt Harris scored the equalizer to end the period. The Athenas' defense and junior Mariah Mastrodimos (SC) did their best to contain the Cougars' offense while the offense tried to look for a breakthrough. The Athenas caught a break when Gaffney retook the lead with a goal with 6:54 left in the second period and tried to put on a run to extend the lead, but Harris responded once again for the Cougars with 2:03 left before the half.
The Cougars made adjustments and went on a 3-0 run in the third period before Perfect managed to take one goal back, as APU took a 5-3 lead into the fourth. However, APU broke out with another 3-0 run, including a penalty shot from Megan Myers to seal the game.
Gaffney opened up the Athenas' offense against Concordia, finding junior Roxy Kiessling (CMC) for the first goal before scoring one more with 3:42 left in the first period to give CMS the 2-0 lead. Kiessling finished the game with three goals. Gaffney wasted no time in the second period, scoring in less than 30 seconds to extend the lead. Kelley Guerts pulled one back for the Eagles to make it 3-1, but sophomore Tess van Hulsen (CMC) added one more for the Athenas.
The Athenas broke out in the third period with a huge 5-0 run, during which Gaffney scored four goals, including one off a penalty attempt. CMS closed the third period with a 10-2 lead. The Eagles tried to rally back, scoring four straight goals, but junior Claire Baxter (CMC) ended their run with a goal. Baxter scored two more times to pull the game out of reach.
CMS will face tournament host Cal Baptist tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. followed by an evening match against Fresno Pacific at 5:30 p.m.