Sagehens Take Down Athenas, Net Four Consecutive Titles

In a close battle in Claremont McKenna College’s Axelrood Pool April 15, the
Pomona-Pitzer women’s water polo team took the Sixth Street rivalry
game over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by a final score of 8-6. The two teams entered
Wednesday evening’s game as the only undefeated teams left in SCIAC and both carried six-game winning streaks into the match. 

Before their loss to P-P (16-9, 7-0 SCIAC), the Athenas (10-15, 7-1 SCIAC) fended off
Chapman University (11-14, 3-4 SCIAC) by a score of 7-5, while the Sagehens crushed the University of La Verne (5-12, 3-4 SCIAC) by a final of 15-5 at home April 11. The win over CMS puts the Sagehens in the top spot in the SCIAC standings as the only remaining unbeaten team.

The game started with the Hens
taking control early on. P-P put two goals into the back of the net in the
first quarter, followed by another quick goal in the second, while
completely shutting down the Athena offense. Senior attackers Sarah Westcott PO ’15 and
Chrissie Alving-Trinh PO ’15 scored the first two goals for the Sagehens, and fellow senior utility player Alyssa Woodward PZ ’15 tacked on the third. 

Defender Rose Koper CM ’15 was able to
score the first goal for CMS in the second quarter, but P-P quickly
fired back. Hole set Mahalia Prater-Fahey PO ’15 found the back of the net for the Hens’ fourth goal. After a penalty shot save from goalkeeper Ahsha Earwood PZ
’17, defender Chessa Burke PZ ’17 swam the ball back down the pool and scored to give the Hens a 5-1 lead going into halftime.

“We wanted to go out hard, and
that’s definitely what we accomplished,” defender Vicky Gyorffy PO ’15 said.
“We’ve beaten CMS every time the last four years, so we were pretty
confident going in.”

Utility player Shannon Golden CM ’17 started off
the second half with a goal for the Athenas, but Sagehen utility player Hope
Grant PZ ’17 answered soon after. Grant added a second goal early in the
fourth to make the score 7-2 as the game essentially went out of reach for the Athenas. 

Golden, Koper, attacker Jessica Gaffney CM ’18 and utility player Brittany Arneson CM ’17 all added
goals for CMS late to bring the score closer. However, it was simply
too little, too late for the Athenas. Defender Megan Snow PO ’16 added the last goal for the Sagehens, as Earwood recorded 13 saves in the game, bringing her season total to 157.

“There were a lot of small
things that didn’t go well, especially in the second quarter,” attacker Helen Thomason SC ’18 said. “We were getting counter attacked and not
being able to come back on defense, and we make some bad passes. However, we
brought a lot of energy in the fourth quarter and pulled it together
late in the game, which was nice to see.”

With the win, P-P claims the top
seed in the SCIAC playoffs next weekend, April 24-26 at Haldeman Pool. The Sagehens still have one SCIAC game to play against Cal
Lutheran, but even with a loss the Hens will still have the number-one seed over the Athenas.

“With one more SCIAC game to go
before SCIAC championships, we’re getting really excited about tournament and
are really focusing on playing a team game, rather than working on individual
skills,” Gyorffy said.

The Hens will look to make it four titles in a row next weekend, while, no doubt, their rivals across Sixth Street will be looking for revenge and a different outcome.

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