Bentley Leads GW Women's Water Polo Past Mercyhurst, Bucknell
Senior Scores Nine Goals, Breaks All-Time Mark
April 5, 2014
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Senior Rachael Bentley scored nine goals in two games to lead the George Washington women's water polo team to a pair of victories over CWPA Southern Division rivals Mercyhurst and Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at the Bison's Kinney Natatorium. The Colonials defeated Mercyhurst, 13-5, then took down host Bucknell, 8-7, at the buzzer.
With her nine goals, Bentley became GW's all-time leading scorer with 173 in her career, surpassing Morgan Hooker's mark of 170, set from 2004-07.
Bentley scored nine points on five goals and four assists and added four steals to lead the Colonials against Mercyhurst in the first game of the day. The nine points equal the second-highest single-game total in program history, which Bentley has achieved twice previously.
Senior Allison Littlejohn added a hat trick, and seniors Erin Dickson and Katherine Berry chipped in two goals apiece while senior Megan Brolley had one as GW's five seniors accounted for all 13 goals in the game.
GW (11-12, 2-2 Southern) scored four of the first five goals of the game and never looked back, leading 6-3 after one. Bentley scored all four of the Colonials' second-quarter goals as GW shut the Lakers out in the period to take a 10-3 halftime lead. Mercyhurst tallied the only goal of the third period, but GW tacked on three in the fourth for the 13-5 victory.
"It was a great, well-balanced team effort," said Head Coach Scott Reed.
Bentley scored four goals in the nightcap against Bucknell, including all three of GW's markers in the decisive fourth quarter. Littlejohn tallied four points on a goal and three assists and added four steals, and Vilander made four saves in the cage.
Neither team led by more than one goal in the entire first half, which included four ties and five lead changes. GW held a 4-3 lead after the first quarter, but the Bison took a 5-4 advantage into halftime. Bucknell scored the first goal of the third period to take a 6-4 lead, but sophomore Hannah Cox pulled the Colonials within one, 6-5, at the end of three.
Bentley tied the game a minute into the fourth quarter, but Bucknell regained a 7-6 advantage with 3:30 remaining. Bentley again found the equalizer with 51 seconds left and the Colonials had the last possession with 30 seconds to go. After taking a shot, GW was able to get the rebound and drew a foul with two seconds left.
It appeared as though the Colonials' final shot came after the buzzer; however, the officials determined the clock was restarted too soon and put two seconds back on the clock, and on the restart Bentley found the back of the cage with the game-winner as the final horn sounded.
"It was quite the exciting game," said Coach Reed. "It was a great defensive effort again, as we managed to keep Bucknell in check throughout the game. Alli Littlejohn had a fantastic defensive game, and Rachael Bentley really stepped it up today."
The Colonials return to action on Sunday with their regular-season finale against No. 9 Princeton at 1 p.m. at the Tigers' DeNunzio Pool. At 2-2 against Southern Division opponents, GW is currently locked in a three-way tie with Bucknell and Harvard for third place in the division standings, which determine seeding for next weekend's Southern Division Championship.
GW 13, Mercyhurst 5
GW Goals: Bentley 5, Littlejohn 3, Dickson 2, Berry 2, Brolley 1
GW 8 Bucknell 7
GW Goals: Bentley 4, Berry 2, Cox 1, Littlejohn 1