CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team dropped a pivotal matchup with Redlands 9-2 on Wednesday night at Axelrood Pool. The Athenas were looking to remain tied with Whittier for fourth place in the SCIAC but with the loss and a win by the Poets, CMS will need a win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday to force a possible tie-breaker.
CMS falls to 9-14 overall and 7-6 in the conference with the seven-goal loss and Redlands improves to 7-6 in the SCIAC and 14-15 overall with the victory. The Athenas held the edge in shots on goal with 16 compared to 13 for the Bulldogs but could not get much offense going on the power play finishing 1-of-13 on special teams for the game compared to 3-of-6 for Redlands on the penalty.
The Athenas were held to their lowest goal output of the regular season as they found the back of the net just two times. Emily McElroy scored the first goal for CMS at the 6:13 mark of the second quarter cutting the deficit to 2-1 with the unassisted goal. Redlands answered almost three minutes later as Breanna O'Dea scored her first of two goals in the game with 3:34 left prior to halftime, assisted by Sarah Draves giving the Bulldogs their second two-goal edge of the game, 3-1.
Prior to the half, Hunter Olivier of Redlands rang one off the post with under a minute remaining before the break and the Athenas and Bulldogs went into halftime in a two-goal game. CMS outshot Redlands 6-1 in the first quarter and held a 9-4 edge in shots at the halfway mark. The Athenas had quite a few unlucky breaks with the ball ringing off the post or the crossbar on a handful of their shots during the opening half. Redlands also employed a physical defense that made it tough for the Athenas all game.
Redlands did not take long to get on the board in the second half, as Olivier extended the Bulldog's advantage to 4-1 with a goal just shy of two minutes into the third quarter at 6:06. Amelia Ayala rang a shot off the post as the Athenas looked to respond to the quick goal by the Bulldogs but were turned away by the iron once again.
Ayala scored Athena's second goal of the game with 2:20 left to play in the third quarter cutting the deficit to 5-2. It marked her 32nd goal of the season and 101st career-goal.
Following the Ayala goal, Redlands went on a 4-0 run over the final 10:20 of the game. Katelyn Jenkins scored the Bulldog's sixth goal of the game pushing the advantage to 6-2 and Jenkins finished the night with four goals to lead all scorers.
Kolby Kahahawai opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a netter at 6:25 extending the Redlands lead to 7-2 and goals by O'Dea at 3:51 in the fourth and another one from Jenkins at 2:15 in the final quarter would salt away a Redlands 9-2 victory.
Emma Choy, Maddy Menard, and Anna Fry finished with two steals apiece. Ayala led the way for the Athenas with six shots. The Athenas postseason hopes hang on a victory against Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday and a loss by Whittier in its final game against Redlands. If that were to happen the decision over who would occupy the fourth seed in the SCIAC tournament would go down to a tie-breaker with the head-to-head being tied 1-1 as well between CMS and the Poets. In fact, if Redlands defeated Whittier on Saturday and CMS defeated Pomona-Pitzer it would fall into a three-way tie for the fourth seed in the conference and would have a triple tie-breaker.
The Athenas will look to end the regular season on a high-note against Sixth Street Rival Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday at 11 a.m. from Axelrood Pool.