CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' women's water polo earned their sixth SCIAC win of the season with an 11-7 victory over the Whittier Poets on Wednesday night. After falling in an early hole, CMS came from behind in the second quarter and were able to maintain the lead for the rest of the game. Jessica Gaffney (CMC) led the charge with five goals in the game.
The Athenas dented the board first with a goal from Gaffney just over two minutes in to jumpstart the offense. Whittier evened the score three minutes later before taking a 2-1 lead with under a minute to play in the first period. Twenty seconds later the Poets extended their lead to 3-1, but Gaffney used an assist from Roxy Kiessling (CMC) to keep CMS within one, scoring with two seconds left in the first period.
Trailing 3-2 after the first quarter, CMS came from behind to score three unanswered goals in the second period to take a 5-3 at the break. Gaffney continued to fire goals into the net, tying the contest at three apiece two minutes into the quarter. The Athenas took the lead less than a minute later when Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) found the back of the net, putting CMS ahead 4-3. Amelia Ayala (CMC) added to the lead with 37 seconds remaining in the second period, assisted by Emma Choy (CMC), to give the Athenas a 5-3 advantage heading into halftime.
The CMS offense continued to put pressure on the Poets in the second half. Kiessling scored three minutes into the third frame to give the Athenas a 6-3 lead. A Whittier goal was answered by Gaffney's fourth of the night. With 2:15 to play in the quarter, CMS led 7-4. The Poets snuck a goal in with 20 seconds in the quarter and the Athenas took a 7-5 lead into the final period.
The Athenas dominated the final period of play, scoring four goals on their way to the win. Anna Fry (HMC) wasted little time, finding the net just over a minute into the fourth period. Gaffney found a hole for her fifth goal two minutes later and Whittier responded with two-straight. Aldrete swung the momentum back to the Athenas' side, scoring with 3:02 on the clock. A steal by Ayala gave Fry the opportunity to score with under a minute to play and give CMS an 11-7 advantage as time ran out.
As mentioned, Gaffney dominated offensively with her five goals to lead CMS. Aldrete and Fry each scored twice and Kiessling had two assists. Claire Baxter (CMC) snatched three steals for CMS.
With the win, CMS improves to 6-2 in SCIAC play and 13-8 overall. They travel to Caltech on Saturday to take on the Beavers at 10:30 a.m.