Sagehens Explode In Second Half For Key SCIAC Win Over CMS

Sagehens Explode In Second Half For Key SCIAC Win Over CMS

Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Water Polo team scored six unanswered goals in the second half to break open a close game and take a 12-7 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at Haldeman Pool.

With the win, the Sagehens improve to 15-16 overall and 6-2 in the SCIAC, while CMS slips to 13-14 overall and 7-1 in conference play.

The conference tournament takes next weekend at Caltech, and the win was vital for Pomona-Pitzer's chances at earning its way back to the NCAA Tournament. The league champion is determined by a combination of regular season and tournament results, and a loss to CMS this afternoon would have meant that CMS would have finished the regular season three games ahead, and could have clinched the SCIAC championship and the right to go the NCAAs by merely winning its semifinal. However, Pomona-Pitzer's win means that the SCIAC Tournament winner next winner will almost certainly earn the bid to the NCAAs (as long as the winner is one of the top five finishers in the league, who all finished within two games of each other).   

Senior goalie Sarah Tuggy (Los Angeles, Calif. - pictured) played her final home match and had 10 saves, catching fire in the second half when she almost held CMS scoreless for the final 13:30 of the match, before a harmless goal with 13 seconds left made the score 12-7. Tuggy stopped a five-meter penalty shot and a point-blank attempt in the closing minutes to go out in her final home match in style.

The first half was back-and-forth as neither team led by more than one goal, before heading into halftime tied 5-5. Sophomore Sarah Westcott (Menlo Park, Calif.) gave the Sagehens a 6-5 lead at the 5:40 mark of the third quarter, but CMS answered 10 seconds later to make the score 6-6.

It was then that Pomona-Pitzer buried the Athenas under an avalanche of goals. Sophomore Chrissie Alving-Trinh (Fresno, Calif.) started the run on a counter, and freshman Katy Schafer (Los Altos, Calif.) followed with a goal to make the score 8-6, the first two-goal lead for either team. Then with the clock winding down at the end of the third quarter, Schafer tossed up a desperation shot from mid-pool that nestled into the upper-left corner of the net with one second left, giving Pomona-Pitzer a stunning insurance goal and a 9-6 lead going into the fourth.

Sophomore Mahalia Prater-Fahey (San Diego, Calif.) then put the hammer down in the final stanza with three consecutive goals, capping off her personal 3-0 run with a blind backhand with 2:21 left to make the score 12-6. Prater-Fahey and Westcott each had three goals, while Schafer and sophomore Alyssa Woodward (Riverside, Calif.) had two apiece.

Pomona-Pitzer will be the second seed in the SCIAC Tournament next weekend as it tries to defend its SCIAC title.