Athenas Sweep Home Opener verses Sienna, APU.
Claremont, CA -- The Athena water polo team opened their first home-stand with two dramatic matches. CMS defeated Siena 11-10 in a thrilling opening matchup and defeated Azusa Pacific 11-9 in the night-cap. The Athenas move to 3-3 overall on the year.
Their first game against Siena ended on a heroic goal by junior Jennifer Ward (Davis, CA). With 15 seconds left and the game tied at 10-10, CMS called a timeout to set up the last play of the game. On the inbound, forward Danielle Welch (SR, Mercer Island, WA) passed the ball to senior captain Abigayle Lin (Honolulu, HI) who lured the defense out of position. enough to pass the ball to Ward, who was streaking towards the goal wide open and scored the winning goal.
The last minute triumph was only possible because of an onslaught of goals by Jessica Palmer (SR, Sacramento), who had three shots from well outside the normal seven-meter range.
During the second game of the opening night double header the Athenas faced Azusa Pacific University. Just as they had done in the first game, CMS came with a heavy dose of offense that led to many goals from the hole-set position. Again, Ward led the offense with help from the primary hole-set Sarah Assaad (SR Redlands). Although CMS won by a narrow margin, the game seemed to be in their control during the entire contest.
As the Athenas move forward their ability to score will only be emphasized by their tenacious defense that kept them in all conference games last season. Their outside shooting swung the momentum of the game and eventually lead to both victories. The double-header was a great stepping stone for the team's offense as it scored 21 goals for the night.
The Athenas will travel to Thousand Oaks to compete in the Cal Lutheran Tournament from March 5-7. On March 5, CMS will face Cal Baptist at 11:00 AM and Villanova at 4:00 PM. On March 6 they face Pacific at 11:00 AM and Cal St. East Bay (@ Oaks Christian HS) at 2:45 PM. On March 7 they will complete the tournament against Penn. State-Behrend at 11:00 AM.