Anticipation for PP Matchup Builds as Athenas Cruise Past Oxy, Whittier

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s
water polo picked up wins on Saturday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 16 against
Whittier College and Occidental College to improve their winning streak to six straight. The two
wins also kept the Athenas’ SCIAC record perfect at 7-0. In both games, it was the Athenas’ strong offense
during the six-on-five advantage periods, as well as superb defense, that turned out to be key in winning.

On Saturday, the team traveled to
Whittier to take on the Poets. Whittier struck first in the game, and
midway through the quarter the Athenas found themselves down 2-1. The Poets had
a chance to go up two during a man-up opportunity, but Allison Hu CM ’15 was
able to make the save. CMS swam down the pool and drew the ejection, and
Kelly Davis SC ’14 found the back of the net to tie the game at two apiece.

Davis’ goal was the first of seven
that the Athenas would score off of earned ejections. In total, CMS converted over half
of its total opportunities. At the end of the first, Alex Toohey CM ’14
scored with 25 seconds left to put the team up 5-4 and give them momentum going into the second quarter.

“When we’re down in a tight
game, our team focuses on trying to draw ejections,” Emily Gran CM ’16
said. “We’ve been working on our six-on-five offense and trying to get as
many opportunities as possible, and we’re converting more and more as the
season goes on.”

In the third quarter, it
was Alyssa Filippelli CM ’14 who found the net during a six-on-five advantage. The
Athenas, who were down 8-7, tied the game 8-8 after Filippelli’s goal,
and never fell behind the Poets again. In the fourth quarter, with CMS holding
on to a tight 14-13 lead, Brittany Arneson CM ’17 scored to put the Athenas up
by two, providing much-needed breathing room. CMS would go on to win by
the same score.

On Wednesday, the Athenas went to
Occidental to face the Tigers on their Senior Day and pounced quickly,
ultimately taking the game 10-6. Hole set Candace Filippelli CM ’14 and
goalie Hu
stole the show against the Tigers. The strong lefty Candace Filippelli scored
over half
of the Athenas’ goals, tallying six on the day. Hu blocked 14 shots, almost
three times as many as the Occidental goalie, and held the
Tigers to one of their lowest shooting percentages of the year.

In the first quarter, with the
Athenas up 3-1, the team found itself in early foul trouble, with key players
drawing two out of the allowed three ejections per game. The team was forced to
start subbing early, but that didn’t stop the Athenas from widening their lead.

“We found ourselves in foul
trouble early in the game, but because of the depth of our team we knew we could
still pull out the win,” Haley Connor CM ’15 said.

Despite the high number of ejections on the team, the
Athenas kept up their solid man-down
defense and stopped the Tigers on all but one of their 12 advantage
situations. Hu also made two crucial blocked-on-5-meter penalty shots,
both when
Occidental was close to tying up the game. Connor and Rose Koper CM ’15
also added goals, and the Athenas closed out strong thanks
to a
clutch defense.

CMS comes back home tomorrow, April 19 to
take on rival Pomona-Pitzer. The team has not lost a game since March 25 against Brown University, and is confident going into the P-P game.

“Each
game, we enter the pool deck ready to play and continue with the momentum we
have had for the entire season,” Ellen Perfect CM ’17 said.

Following
the game against P-P, CMS will take part in the SCIAC Championships, which take place April 25-27.

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