Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Wednesday night the Whittier College Women's Water Polo team faced off against Claremont-M-S in a highly anticipated showdown within Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play.
Following 38:00 minutes of play, the Purple & Gold emerged victorious pulling out a 10-9 win in OT.
Whittier who was taking part in their first home game of the season improves to 9-5, 2-0 SCIAC, while Claremont-M-S dropped to 5-9, 1-2 SCIAC. The Poets have now won seven of their last eight with their last two wins coming in extra time.
Natasha Velez (La Habra, Calif.) put the Poets on top early off a feed from Amelia Gregorio (Aventura, FL). But CMS bounced back with Christina Kulick going back to back and Addi Duval tacking on the third that moved the score to 3-1. Ally Burke (Las Vegas, NV) though was able to convert a 6-of-5 that cut the deficit to one.
It was a big 2nd Quarter for the Poets outscoring the Athenas 4-2. Teresa Marchetti (Messina, Italy) and Velez started things off with goals that put WC on top 4-3. CMS stopped the run thanks to Maddy Menard but the Athenas still saw themselves trailing as Burke and Marchetti would combo again moving the score to 6-5.
Out of the half it was a low scoring affair with a combined three goals being scored. The Athenas came out and scored four of the first five that put them on top 9-7. This run spanned late into the 4th, but this advantage wouldn't hold as Velez and Sawyer Bellville (Chino, Calif.) would add the final two goals of regulation.
In the first OT period the game remained scoreless despite the Poets having two great looks coming on a 5-meter and an open goal as the CMS goalie was pulled with an exclusion. But both came away empty as the game remained deadlocked at 9-9 heading into the second stanza.
The eventual game-winning goal came in the second OT period from Velez. Marchetti got out on the wing and fed a nice ball to Velez inside set. She was then able to work position inside and finish giving WC the 10-9 win.
Whittier was outshot 24-23 on the night, was 0-for-2 on 5-meters and just 3-for-10 on powerplays.
Lauren Tapia (Whittier, Calif.) played all 38:00 minutes between the posts adding seven stops in the win.
Velez finished the night with four goals on six shots. Burke put up two goals and an assist and Marchetti registered two goals, an assist and a pair of steals.