Tough Opponents Welcome Athenas Into 2018 Season

Tough Opponents Welcome Athenas Into 2018 Season

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team began the 2018 season with a doubleheader against Loyola Marymount and Azusa Pacific on Saturday. The Athenas fell to both Loyola Marymount and Azusa Pacific by identical 11-5 scores. Against Loyola Marymount, Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) and Jessica Gaffney (CMC) each scored two goals to lead the Athenas' offense. In the second match of the day against Azusa Pacific, Amelia Ayala (CMC) chipped in two goals and Chandlyr Denaro (CMC) finished the day with 15 saves.

No. 21 Loyola Marymount defeats Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 11-5

The Lions brought the intensity from the beginning. Their offense controlled the first three quarters of the match, scoring all of their 11 goals before CMS could score their first.

Loyola Marymount scored three in the first period, including two from Morgan Molloy. Molloy completed her hat trick in the second quarter as the Lions scored three more to stretch the lead to 6-0. Loyola Marymount added their final five in the third to extend their commanding lead.

The Athena offense found a spark late in the third when Margo Lusinchi (SC) found the back of the net with two seconds left in the quarter. The shift in momentum favored CMS as they went on to score four more goals, two each from Aldrete and Gaffney. Aldrete took over the goal scoring in the first half of the fourth quarter, scoring back-to-back goals within a minute of each other. Claire Baxter (CMC) assisted on Aldrete's second goal and had three steals in the contest. Gaffney made both of her contributions in the final five minutes of the game. The comeback fell short, however, as the Athenas dropped the season opener by a final of 11-5.

Chandlyr Denaro (CMC) made seven saves in goal for CMS and tallied one steal.

Azusa Pacific defeats Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 11-5

Facing their second tough opponent of the day, CMS took on the Azusa Pacific Cougars in the second half of their opening day double-dip. Despite scoring the game's first goal, the Athenas fell to the Cougars 11-5.

As mentioned, the Athenas struck first with a goal from Ayala less than two minutes into the game to take an early 1-0 lead. Azusa Pacific responded by scoring the next four goals to take a 4-1 lead at the end of the first period.

The Cougars' Britt Harris controlled the second quarter. Harris scored three of her five goals in the period to push the Cougars' lead to 7-1.

CMS scored the only goal in the third quarter as they attempted to get back in the game.  Aldrete scored her third goal of the day with less than three minutes left in the quarter to bring the Athenas within five.

The Athenas continued their push in the beginning of the fourth period. Gaffney and Ayala scored within 10 seconds of each other to open the quarter, cutting the Cougars' lead to 7-4.  Azusa Pacific responded with the next four goals to take an 11-4 advantage. Kaitlyn Eng (HMC) found the net for CMS with 1:29 left in the contest, but the comeback fell short as the Cougars claimed the 11-5 victory.

Denaro tallied eight saves in goal and two steals in the match.

With the losses, the Athenas fall to 0-2 on the young season. They return to the pool on Feb. 3, when they host Carthage in Axelrood Pool in their home opener at 1:00 p.m.