Sagehens Show Mixed Results at Tina Finali Tournament

After a
rare weekend off from games, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s water polo team (3-6) took a trip to the Tina Finali Tournament at California Lutheran University Feb. 28, playing against a diverse group of talent from across the nation. 

After some defensive
struggles in the first game led to a loss, the Sagehens were able
to bounce back and win their second game, ending the weekend with a split.
All-American attacker Sarah Westcott PO ’15 led the Hens with four goals on the weekend,
while center Christina Williamson PO ’17, utility player Miranda Green PO ’17 and defender Vicky Gyorffy PO
’15 all made their season debuts after finishing the winter swim season. Goalkeeper Ahsha
Earwood PZ ’17 also came back from a shoulder injury to help the Hens.  

The Hens began the weekend playing against California State University, East Bay, a team they had not battled since 2010. The game started with CSU East Bay dominance, as the Pioneers blew
open the game with four straight goals in the first quarter. P-P’s defense
continued to struggle through the second quarter as it let the Pioneers put
two more on the board until Westcott was able to stop the streak. 

The
Hens turned their defense around in the second half, only allowing two more
goals, but it was too little, too late. Westcott Attacker Chrissie Alving-Trinh PO ’15 added one more goal each for the Hens, but the CSU East Bay lead proved too much. The game ended with the Pioneers
winning 8-3.

“We came out slow in the
first quarter against East Bay and were unable to make up the goal difference
by the end,” Alving-Trinh said. “We cannot let ourselves get down
that easily in the first quarter.”

Although the Sagehens were able to draw 12
ejections in the game, three times more than those of CSU East Bay, P-P was not able to
capitalize or score on almost any of them. 

“We definitely were focused on creating
opportunities to score, and in the [CSU East Bay] game we needed to finish and
take advantage of man-up situations,” Alving-Trinh said.

The second game of the day against Fresno Pacific University was a polar opposite for the Hens. This time, it was P-P who stormed on
offense, scoring four goals to Fresno Pacific’s one. The Hens took
advantage of all their earned ejections, scoring in four of the first six-on-five situations. 

Utility player Alyssa Woodward PZ ’15 scored two of the Hen’s four in the
first quarter, while defender Megan Snow PO ’16 and Westcott also put two on the board
later for the Hens. Fresno Pacific was able to start a small rally at the end
of the game, scoring four in a row, but P-P held the team off and won 9-7.

Alving-Trinh noted how quickly the team improved in
their man-up possessions on the day, becoming extremely effective by the second
game. 

“Against Fresno Pacific our six-on-five possessions were just executed a
lot better,” Alving-Trinh said. 

Despite better six-on-five execution, the Hens know they will need to improve other areas of their offense in order to be more efficient.

“We were really productive on offense in the
second game,” Williamson said. “I think as we incorporate
more off-the-ball movement and communication, we can be even more
successful.”

This weekend, the Hens will compete in their first home
games of the season as they co-host the annual Convergence Tournament with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps March 6 and 7. The Hens will have four games in just two days
against competition from all over the nation.

“We’re looking to go 4-0 this weekend
against some tough competition,” Alving-Trinh said. “We lost to [the University of California, San Diego] in the DI NCAA play-in game last year, so this year’s game is especially
important to us.”

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