Defense Key as GW Women's Water Polo Earns Two Southern Division Wins
March 3, 2013
ERIE, Pa. - The George Washington women's water polo team used two staunch defensive efforts to earn their first Southern Division wins of the season, defeating Bucknell, 11-3, and host Mercyhurst, 7-6, on Sunday at the Mercyhurst North East Aquatic Center.
GW (8-6, 2-1 Southern) has won five of its last six games and is off to its best start since the 2004 squad was also 8-6 through 14 games.
Bucknell led, 2-1, at the 5:19 mark of the first quarter, but the Colonials scored the final three goals of the period to take a 4-2 lead and never looked back. GW outscored the Bison, 3-0, in the second to take a 7-2 lead at halftime and blanked them again in the third quarter. Bucknell finally scored again in the fourth, but it was not enough, as the Colonials added four more for the 11-3 win, their second over the Bison this season.
"Our defense really did a fantastic job of shutting them down and preventing them from getting any easy opportunities," said head coach Scott Reed. "It was a great effort overall."
Freshman Hannah Cox, the reigning Southern Division Rookie of the Week, led GW with a career-high six goals - her sixth straight game with at least four tallies. It was the most goals scored by a Colonial rookie since Elizabeth Davis in 2004. Sophomore goalkeeper Chandler Vilander recorded eight saves in the cage.
Mercyhurst scored first in the nightcap, but GW took a 2-1 lead after the first quarter and held onto it for most of the game. The Colonials were up 3-2 at halftime, but the Lakers tied it with 3:55 to go in the third quarter. Several possessions later, junior Katherine Berry scored the go-ahead goal at the 2:08 mark on a power play, and the Colonials led, 6-5, after three. Mercyhurst had the last possession with 19 seconds left, but GW came up with the stop to hold on for the 7-6 win.
Berry led the Colonials with three goals while Cox had two. Junior Megan Brolley recorded four steals and three ejections drawn, and sophomore Meagan Moreland added three assists and three steals. Vilander stopped eight shots in the game.
"The defense maintained a strong position, and I'm very proud of these girls for keeping the defensive intensity up," said Reed. "That's what's going to win us games this season."
The Colonials return to action on Friday, when they host nationally ranked Princeton in Southern Division action at the Charles E. Smith Center pool, their first of three home matches this season. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
GW 11, Bucknell 3
GW Goals: Cox 6, Berry 2, Moreland 1, Sandri 1, Donoghue 1
GW 7, Mercyhurst 6
GW Goals: Berry 3, Cox 2, Donoghue 1, Sandri 1