Heating Up in Hawaii, Hens Face International Competition

As many students at the 5Cs took off on various adventures during spring break, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s water polo team
took a trip of their own to the sunny islands of Hawaii. However, the team was
unable to pick up a win against highly competitive teams.
After returning to campus, the women had another match against visiting Brown University,
and in a close, defensive struggle, the Sagehens (9-9, 1-0 SCIAC) dropped their fourth straight game.

First up for the Hens in Hawaii was the No. 3 team in the nation, the University of Southern California. Previously in the season, the Hens lost to the Trojans by a score of 30-4. USC had
no trouble handling the Sagehens in their second matchup, catching an early lead and never
looking back. By the last buzzer, USC had put on an offensive show, beating P-P
22-3. Utility player Alyssa Woodward PZ ’15 scored all three of the Sagehens’ goals in the
game.

Next, the Hens faced the Brazilian National Team in an
exhibition game, a rare chance to play some of the top competition from outside
of the United States. Despite only trailing Brazil by a score of 9-7 after
three quarters, the Hens’ defense slipped in the fourth quarter, and they dropped the match by a final score of 14-7.

The Hens’ final game of their visit to the Hawaiian Islands
came against the host school, the University of Hawaii. The game felt similar to the match against USC as
Hawaii came out strongly and continued to fire shots into the back of the net. Attacker Morgan McCracken PO ’18 and hole set Mahalia Prater-Fahey PO ’15 scored the only goals
for the Hens, while Hawaii continued their offensive explosion through the end
of the game, winning 16-2. The Sagehens did not view the trip as a loss, though. 

“It was fun to play three games of such high
intensity,” McCracken said. “The other teams made us
play at a faster rate than we are used to; this allowed us to improve on many
tactics and skills which we will be employing against our future
opponents.”

After the Hens returned to Claremont, they hosted Brown at
Haldeman Pool. In a defensive battle, P-P was held to just three goals as it
dropped a close game 5-3. McCracken gave the Hens an early 1-0 lead, but Brown
would surge back and take the lead, making the score 4-2 at half-time. The two teams
then traded goals in the third quarter as the score stayed 5-3 until
the end.

“We had a ton of man-up opportunities, but we just
couldn’t convert against Brown,” defender Megan Snow PO ’16 said. “Although we
played great defense, we went 0 for 11 on six-on-five opportunities, which cost us
the game.”

The Hens will take a break from out-of-league action and
continue SCIAC play on March 28 when they travel to Chapman University to take on the
Panthers. Chapman is coming off a dominant win against University of Redlands and will look to carry their momentum into Saturday’s match against the Hens, but with a league win under their belt and experience against top competition in the nation, the Sagehens look ready to accept the challenge.

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