Women's Water Polo: Sagehens Edge Out Concordia In Season Opener

Women's Water Polo: Sagehens Edge Out Concordia In Season Opener

RIVERSIDE, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer kick their season off with a 1-1 record after battling against two formidable teams on Saturday afternoon at the Lancer Invitational hosted by Cal Baptist University. The Sagehens managed to squeeze out a close 9-8 victory against Division II Concordia University before falling to University of Southern California 21-3.

Pomona-Pitzer def. Concordia University 9-8

Morgan McCracken and Bella Villa co-led the Sagehens with two goals, in what otherwise has been a complete team effort as Pomona-Pitzer downed the Eagles. McCracken also collected four steals while Anna Yu had one goal with three steals. The Sagehens outshot the Eagles 30 to 23 and won all the opening sprints.

The Eagles jumped to a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Kyla Pickell scored off a pass from Colleen Woo with 2:26 left on the clock to cut the lead in half before the start of the second period. Villa tied the game back after scoring on a power play in the start of the second period, but the Eagles fought back to regain the two-goal cushion with a 4-2 lead.

The third period provided plenty of fireworks on the offensive end as both teams combined for seven goals. Yu scored her only goal of the game at the start of the period to bring the Hens within one, and a minute later Janelle Lewis tied it up after scoring on a solo effort. With 5:36 remaining in the third, Shannon Graham of Concordia scored on a power play, but Villa tied it back and McCracken took advantage of a power play to give the Hens their first lead, 6-5. However, the Eagles closed the quarter with two goals to lead 7-6, heading into the final period.

The Sagehens tried to regain control over the game as Jocelyn Castro tied it back off an assist from Natalie Hill with 6:03 remaining in the game. A minute later, Hill took the lead by scoring off an assist from McCracken. With 2:58 remaining, the Eagles tied the game, but McCracken made her impact felt by scoring the last goal of the game off an assist from Castro with 1:59 left. The Eagles looked to fight back, but the Hens held on to secure their first victory of the season.

USC def. Pomona-Pitzer 21-3

Three hours later, the Sagehens got back in the pool to take on University of Southern California. The Trojans outplayed the Sagehens on both ends of the pool, holding off Pomona-Pitzer's offense while scoring the first 15 goals of the game.

With 7:04 left in the third period, McCracken scored the first goal for the Hens off a power play. Hill later scored the team's second goal a little more than a minute into the fourth period and freshman Natasha Rosenthal scored her first goal of her young career with 1:46 left in the game.

The Trojans closed out the game with a goal in the final minute to win it 21 to 3.

Up Next: The Sagehens will play against the China Women's National Team on Saturday, February 3 at the Whittier Invitational hosted by Whittier College at 9:20 a.m. Later on the same day, the Hens will take on Cal State Monterey Bay at 2:40 p.m.