CLAREMONT, CA – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Water Polo team split the opening day of the Convergence Tournament, trouncing University of Villanova 16-6 before falling to University of California, San Diego 12-6.
Pomona-Pitzer def. Villanova 16-6
The Sagehens throttled the Division I Wildcats on Friday afternoon, relentlessly applying pressure on offense to earn the lopsided 16-6 victory. Kahea Kahaulelio led the Hens with four goals and nabbed two streals while Kyle Pickell added two goals with a team-high three assists. Natasha Rosenthal netted three times and collected two steals. At the goal post, Haley Crabtree put on a fine goal-keeping display, collective 10 saves in one half of work while Morgan Stockham held the Wildcats to one goal during her tenure at goal.
The Sagehens played cautiously in the opening period, moving the ball around and disallowing the Wildcats from any counter attack opportunities. Kahea scored the opening goal with 2:57 remaining and Rosenthal followed 37 seconds later on a power play goal. Nohea Kahaulelio tripled the lead to make it 3-0 with 1:58 remaining in the first.
Later in the second period with the Hens up 4-1, Kahea was found open and fired to make it 5-1. She followed up with a quick pass to Pickell in traffic and Pickell hurled a backhand shot with a defender on her back to make it 6-1. The Hens led 8-3 at halftime.
Natalie Hill opened up the scoring in the third period, firing an open shot to extend the lead 9-3. After Nova scored one to cut the lead 9-4, the Sagehens erupted on a 7-0 run that bled into the final period. The Sagehens forced turnovers and used their speed to catch the Wildcats off-guard with the counterattacks and comfortably held on for a 16-6 victory.
UCSD def. Pomona-Pitzer 12-6
UC San Diego came into the match with a more defensive game plan, and saw it come to fruition against the Sagehens. Falling behind 2-0, the Hens managed to cut the lead in half thanks to a goal by Hill. The Sagehens could not rally as the Tritons refused to allow easy entry passes near the goal post. The Tritons managed to net one more in the first period off a power play, but Jocelyn Castro brought the Hens back within one as they closed the period trailing 3-2.
The second period started off slowly as both sides stepped up defensively. It was not until 3:59 remaining in the half when the Tritons added to their lead thanks to a goal by Krista Schneider. The Hens later drew a penalty and Kahea Kahaulelio converted to make it 4-3. After UCSD scored with 50 seconds remaining, Anna Yu closed out the half strong with a well-placed shot to keep the Hens within one at the half.
UCSD controlled the second half. At the start of the third period, the Tritons broke out on a long 3-0 run, containing the Hens' offense while patiently looking for opportunities to score. Trailing 8-4 at the start of the fourth period, Pomona-Pitzer tried to rally as Janelle Lewis broke the silence with a laser shot from distance. Hill followed with a no-hesitation catch-and-shoot to bring the Hens within two. Unfortunately, the Tritons rallied with a 3-0 run to close the match.
Up Next: The Sagehens will host Cal Baptist on the second day of the Convergence tomorrow at 11:40 a.m. followed by a match against UC Santa Barbara at 5:00 p.m.