Women's Water Polo: Sagehens Split Double Header At Tina Finali Invitational

Women's Water Polo: Sagehens Split Double Header At Tina Finali Invitational

THOUSAND OAKS, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Water Polo team split in the Tina Finali Invitational as they defeated Fresno Pacific 10-8 but fell to Azusa Pacific in overtime 10-9 on Friday afternoon at the Samuelson Aquatics Center.

Season Impact:  With the split, the Sagehens move to 4-2 overall.

Fresno Pacific

The Sagehens were led by Jocelyn Castro, Nohea Kahaulelio, Janelle Lewis and Morgan McCracken who all shared a team-high with two goals each in the win. Morgan Stockham got the win in goal as she tallied six saves and one steal.

The Sagehens came out and put goals on the board early as they found the back of the net three times in the first five minutes of the first quarter. Castro notched her first goal in the opening minute of the match followed by Lewis just a minute later to take a 2-0 lead.

The Sunbirds got on the board with a powerplay goal with 4:43 to play but the Sagehens ended the first with a goal by Kahaulelio to take a 3-1 lead heading into the second.

Pomona-Pitzer scored three of the first four goals of the second quarter from McCracken, Lewis and Kahaulelio but Fresno Pacific scored a last second goal just before halftime to cut the lead down to 6-3 heading into the break.

The Sunbirds won the third quarter as they came out and battled back into the game with three-straight goals to open up the half to even up the score at 6-6 with 5:29 left in the third. McCracken responded with her second goal of the afternoon to give the Sagehens a one goal lead heading into the fourth.

Both defenses turned it up to start the fourth as neither team could find the back of the net within the first five minutes of the quarter. Castro was able to break to goal drought but the Sunbirds responded just 30 seconds later to stay within one goal of the tie.

The two teams exchanged goals again after Kyla Pickell scored for the Sagehens but Fresno Pacific scored again with just over a minute to go to bring the score to 9-8.

Pomona-Pitzer scored the dagger with 32 seconds left in the game as Esma Dollaku found the back of the net to extend the lead to two goals and seal the game for Pomona-Pitzer.

Azusa Pacific

The Sagehens were led by McCracken who had a game-high four goals in the loss. Anna Yu also tallied a hat-trick with three goals.

The Sagehens opened up the game with back to back goals by McCracken and Yu to take a 2-0 lead in the first before APU scored their first goal of the match to cut the lead down to 2-1 at the end of the first.

Pomona-Pitzer and Azusa Pacific played a very even second quarter as each team scored three goals as the Sagehens headed into halftime holding a 5-4 lead.

APU won the third quarter as they came out of halftime and tied the game at 5-5 just under a minute into the second half. The Sagehens retook the lead just 20 seconds later but the Cougars ended the third with a goal to tie the match at 6-6 with one quarter left to play.

Azusa Pacific opened up the fourth with back to back goals to take a two goal lead but the Sagehens responded with three-straight goals and took a one goal lead with 1:43 left to play. Unfortunately, the Sagehens couldn't hang on to the lead as APU notched the tying goal with 1:15 left to play and forced overtime.

The Cougars scored the lone goal of the overtime period with 2:25 left to play and prevented the Sagehens from tying the match as they held on for the slight overtime win.

Up Next: The Sagehens will next open up SCIAC play as they travel to Whittier on Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00 p.m.