Saturday morning was a battle between the top two Division-III teams for women’s water polo. The nationally ranked number-two Cal Lutheran Regals ventured to Haldeman Pool to take on the number-one ranked Sagehens. Both teams entered the game with an undefeated record in SCIAC play. The Sagehen fans came out in strong support for their players in this battle of titans and they received a great show. The game was a hard fought neck-and-neck battle with neither team gaining an edge all the way until the final buzzer with the overtime score ending with the Regals beating the Sagehens 11-10.
At the end of each quarter the score was tied: 3-3 after the first, 6-6 after the second, 7-7 after the third and they headed into overtime with a score of 9-9. But, in overtime, the Sagehens were outmatched by the Regals’ powerful play and depth in their bench.
In water polo, overtime is divided into two three-minute periods. Cal Lu scored a quick goal in the first overtime period, followed by another in the second. A late surge from the Sagehens and a goal from Tamara Perea PI ‘11 was not enough to keep the Hens undefeated in SCIAC play.
Although the game was a loss, the Sagehens must be credited with their fine play. The Hens were led by some outstanding performances. Freshman goalie sensation Sarah Tuggy PO ’13, aka Tugalicious, played an awesome game in the cage, blocking nine quality shots. She is already one of the top goalies in the league, and as a first year we can look forward for many more great things out of this young keeper of the cage.
On the offensive side, the team was lead by Perea with three clutch goals. Perri Hopkins PI ’12 and Sarah Woods PO ’10 also contributed two outstanding goals apiece. Woods also led the team with two assists.
On the defensive side Naneh Apkarian PO ’10 and Perea both lead the team with solid play, each with three steals.
The game was a hard-fought battle from both sides but in the end Cal Lu had more in the tank. They had a deeper bench and more subs than the Hens, who lost many key players last year due to graduation and had a talented yet small incoming class this year.
The Sagehens and their ever-passionate fans not only left the pool with an empty feeling from the loss but also were left with the question, as the great Justin Sexton put it: “What is a Regal?” The second game of the day was against visiting La Verne. Although the Sagehens didn’t have the same fan backing as the previous game, it wasn’t necessary for their victory as the Hens trounced the Leopards with a score of 17 to 8.
Le Verne, who plays with even less players than the already under-womaned Sagehens, was no match for the Hens.
After Karen Bonner PO ’10 scored the first goal of the game, the Leopards eventually followed suit, but their cheers were quickly silenced as Dana Kingman PI ’11 powered in a shot, giving the Sagehens the lead. After that the Hens never looked back, scoring five more goals in the quarter finishing it at 7-3.
The Hens chose to flex their depth in the goal this game, rotating the position each quarter. Annie Oxborough-Yankus PI ’12 passed off the position to Bonner for the second quarter. Bonner then proceeded to take a page out of Tuggy’s book, becoming a brick wall and not allowing a single goal in.
On the offensive side the Hens continued their onslaught scoring five more goals, making the halftime score 12-3.
The foray continued in the second half with the Hens scoring another five goals and showing off two more goalies, Dana Kingman PI ’11 and Danielle Joseph PO ’10, who both had great play.
The game was an all-around success for the Hens, who were well-rounded on both defense and offense with all Hens scoring at least one goal, including goalie standout Tuggy, who scored her first goal of the season. Hopkins also led the team with four strong assists.
The Hens continued their conquests this week with games at Cal Baptist and Cal Tech on Wednesday and at Occidental on Saturday.