Hens Advance Toward Goal of Winning SCIAC

In the final
game of regular season SCIAC play April 18, the Pomona-Pitzer and California
Lutheran University women’s water polo teams were locked in a 4-4 stalemate
with a minute left in the fourth quarter. After drawing an ejection, giving the
Hens a one-player advantage, attacker Sarah Westcott PO ’15 scored with 1:06
left to give P-P a 5-4 victory.

“Scoring on a
man-up opportunity in the fourth quarter was a key moment in the CLU game and
really changed the momentum,” attacker Chrissie Alving-Trinh PO ’15 said. “Sarah
Westcott drew the kick-out in transition and then scored the quick goal.”

In what began as
an offensive struggle for P-P (17-9, 8-0 SCAIC), the attack finally began to
click in the final minutes of the game as the Sagehens scored three goals in
the final five minutes. Despite the best defensive efforts by a tough Cal
Lu squad (7-18, 3-5 SCIAC), the Hens came back from a 4-2 deficit to
finish the SCIAC season a perfect 8-0.

The game began
with a five-minute scoreless period until defender Megan Snow PO ’16 was
finally able to score a goal after a Cal Lutheran exclusion. However, the
Regals quickly responded with a goal of their own after P-P goalie Ahsha
Earwood PZ ’17 was kicked out for a possession. After another Sagehen goal,
this time by Westcott, the Regals answered again to tie the game 2-2 going
into halftime.

After Cal Lutheran
jumped ahead with a two-goal third quarter to take a 4-2 lead, the fourth quarter was all Sagehens. Utility
player Alyssa Woodward PZ ’15 scored with 4:41 left and hole set Christina
Williamson PO ’17 provided the tying goal with 2:47 left to play. Westcott’s
late goal gave the Hens the comeback victory in a close call against the
Regals.

“We were
definitely excited to pull out the win against Cal Lu this past weekend, and it
felt great coming out of it knowing we would be undefeated in the SCIAC,”
attacker Erica Halaszynski PO ’18 said. “During and after the game our coach
emphasized that winning or losing didn’t matter as much as playing as a team and
executing at our level. Being able to pull it together and finish the game
playing at a higher level than when we started was the most important part.”

The defensive
efforts of both teams were the definite highlights of the match. Goalie Gina
Merry of Cal Lutheran had 13 saves for the Regals and Earwood, who has been an integral part of the Sagehen defense after returning from an injury, had 11 for the
Hens. 

“Sallie Walecka [PO ’15] has been doing really well recently, especially coming back into the field
after being our goalie while Ahsha was out with an injury,” Halaszynski
said. “As always, Ahsha has been playing exceptionally
well, and it’s nice to have such a strong player as our last line of defense. 

With the 5-4 win
over Cal Lutheran, the Sagehens earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming
SCIAC Tournament at Haldeman Pool April 24-26. P-P will play its first game of
the tourney on Friday night against the winner of the Occidental College (2-24,
1-7 SCIAC) and California Institute of Technology (0-18, 0-8 SCAIC) match. The
Hens are coming into the tournament ready to defend last year’s SCIAC title.

“The whole team
is super excited about SCIACs, especially because we have a large group of
seniors graduating this year,” Halaszynski said. “We all have high goals we
want to achieve and are coming into the tournament determined and ready to
execute what we’ve worked on throughout the season.”

Alving-Trinh,
one of many talented seniors on the team, shared the high goals that the
Sagehens have set for themselves.

“We know we are
well prepared but need to take the tournament one day at a time,” Alving-Trinh
said. “We hope to win [the] SCIAC [tournament] as well as the NCAA play-in
game.”

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