Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Water Polo team picked up their biggest win on the season thus far as they edged Division I Villanova University 13-11 in OT.
Whittier erases a six game losing skid as they move to 2-7, 0-1 SCIAC and now own a 3-1 record against the Wildcats all-time.
Amelia Gregorio (Aventura, FL) got the Poets offense going with a power play goal in the early stages of the first quarter. Villanova countered on their next possession and would then tack on another with just under four minutes to play that again deadlocked the game.
In the second Villanova got the scoring started on their first possession to go on top 3-1 but after that it was all Purple & Gold who went on a 5-0 run to close out the first half behind goals from Anastacia Gonzalez (Montebello, Calif.), Lindsay Shoaff (Costa Mesa, Calif.), and Marina Daroca Bazan (Barcelona, Spain). This made the score 7-3 at the break.
Villanova made a comeback in the third quarter outscoring Whittier 4-2 to pull within a pair at 9-7. Then in the fourth, Gregorio would add her second of the game at the 5:02 mark but that wouldn't be enough as the Wildcats would go on a 3-0 spurt, which forced the game into OT.
In extra time, Nova struck first from Dominique Clark but after that it again was all Whittier as Lindsay Shoaff would capitalize on a man-up followed by Hannah Rodriguez (Riverside, Calif.) that put Whittier on top 12-11. Then in the second OT session, Shoaff would add another, which proved insurance as Whittier would hold on for the big win at the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center.
Shoaff had her best game of her career finishing with five goals along with two steals. Jacqueline Au (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Gregorio, and Gonzalez each finished with a pair as well. In between the posts Noa Cravens (Laie, HI) picked up the win playing lights out with four saves and six steals.
Whittier outshot Villanova 39-25, was 4-of-8 on power play opportunities and connected on two five-meters.
Whittier looks to carry this momentum into a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match-up with the University of La Verne tomorrow, Wednesday, March 7 with game time set for 4:00pm.