CMS Women's Water Polo Falls in Overtime to La Verne

Jessica Salaz had two saves in the final minute of regulation to help send the match to overtime
Jessica Salaz had two saves in the final minute of regulation to help send the match to overtime

LA VERNE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team went to overtime at La Verne in a SCIAC match on Saturday morning, and fell short as the Leopards scored the game-winner on a five-meter shot for a 7-6 victory.

The match was the third 7-6 final that the Athenas have had this week against SCIAC teams, defeating Redlands on the road on Tuesday and falling to Whittier on home on Thursday, all by the same score. CMS is now 4-10 overall and 2-3 in the SCIAC, while La Verne improves to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in SCIAC. 

Sophomore Anna Fry scored a go-ahead goal with 1:29 left in regulation to put the Athenas ahead 6-5, but Jassmine Kezman answered 15 seconds later on a 6-on-5. Freshman goalie Jessica Salaz then came up with two big saves in the final minute to send the game to the extra sessions. 

La Verne was awarded a penalty shot on its first possession of the extra session, and Guarina Garcia was able to put it away with 2:16 left in the first of the two three-minute overtimes. Freshman Addi Duvall had a bid to tie in the first overtime, but had her shot saved by La Verne goalie Shelby Garcia. 

Garcia came up with another save to start the second overtime off a shot from CMS freshman Maddy Menard, and the Athenas had two other chances in the closing minutes to draw even but missed the target as the Leopards hung on. 

CMS trailed 2-1 at the half after being held scoreless in the second quarter. After the Leopards went ahead 3-1 early in the third quarter. the Athenas rattled off three goals in a row, with freshman Alex Szymczak pulling CMS within 3-2, junior Aracelia Aldrete scoring her second on a 6-on-5 to tie it, and sophomore Amelia Ayala giving the Athenas the lead at 4-3 with 54 seconds left in the third. 

Garcia pulled the Leopards even with eight second left in the third, and Szymczak scored her second with 3:47 left to give the Athenas a 5-4 edge, but the Leopards answered 18 seconds later. 

Szymczak and Aldrete had two goals apiece for CMS, while Guarina Garcia had a had trick for La Verne. Shelby Garcia had 11 saves in goal for the Leopards, while Salaz had nine for CMS. 

The Athenas will be back in action when it hosts Brown on Sunday, March 24 for a 5 p.m. contest.