CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team (5-6) finished the Convergence Tournament with a pair of tough losses against NCAA Division II schools on Saturday night. The Athenas gave Cal State Monterey Bay a tough battle and went neck-to-neck, but a late rally from the Otters sealed the game. The tournament ended with a lopsided 10-4 loss to Azusa Pacific.
The Otters got on board quickly thanks to a goal by Marisa Lovos, but the Athenas managed to go on a 2-0 run to close out the first period, with goals from junior Roxy Kiessling (CMC) and her classmate Jessica Gaffney (CMC). Kiessling finished the game with four goals while Gaffney scored twice. The Athenas scored first in the second period thanks to Gaffney's lob shot from distance over the outstretch arms of the goalie, but the Otters responded with two goals to tie the game.
With 4:23 left in the second period, sophomore Tess van Hulsen (CMC) found Kiessling in traffic near the cage. Kiessling showed tremendous effort, muscling around two defenders and firing a laser to the top right corner of the net to take back the lead. Unfortunately, the Otters tied the game against 23 seconds later and the two teams remained tied 4-4 at the half. CSUMB opened up the third period with two goals, but freshman Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) managed to take one back. Kiessling scored another to tie the game, but the draw was short-lived as Tatiana Veloso scored two straight goals to give the Otters the 8-6 lead. Veloso finished the game with four goals. Aldrete lobbed a well-placed shot to the left side of goal to cut the deficit within one before the end of the third period, but CSUMB responded with three goals to start the fourth period and never looked back.
Gaffney got things started for the Athenas after swimming past all the Cougars to receive a long through pass and scoring in front of the goal. However, the Cougars punched back with two goals to take the lead. Sophomore Krystal Sung (CMC) responded with a goal off a power play to tie the game at the end of the first period. The game continued to be a grind as the usually potent APU offense was held to two goals in the second period thanks to some brilliant goalkeeping from junior Mariah Mastrodimos (SC). Mastrodimos finished the night with seven saves. With 31 seconds left in the half, Kiessling managed to bring the deficit within one with a well-shot goal.
APU broke out in the second half, scoring four straight in the third period thanks to some great playmaking from Britt Harris to make it 8-3. The Athenas tried to fight back, but could not overcome the deficit before the final buzzer.
The Athenas will head over to Cal Baptist University to play in the Cal Baptist Invite on Friday, Mar. 10. They will open up with another rematch against Azusa Pacific at 11:15 a.m, followed by a match against Concordia (Irvine) at 3 p.m.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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