COSTA MESA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team more than doubled its season goal total in a 16-4 win over Vanguard on Wednesday night to improve to 2-1 on the season. Azusa Pacific had four 4-0 runs in the match and had three players finish with hat tricks, led by Jennifer Horchler’s five goals, and allowed a season-low four scores as keeper Brooke Sovick registered 15 saves in the match.
The Cougars, who combined for 15 goals in a split last weekend, opened the scoring when Horchler found the back of the net just 30 seconds after the opening sprint. Gabrielle Kredel then gave Azusa Pacific a 2-0 lead three minutes later, and freshman Lora Donaldson followed suit, ending the opening quarter with a goal.
The scoring streak continued for the Cougars as Allison Gonzales got the ball by Vanguard’s Candace Williams for a 4-0 lead. But the Lions responded with a goal by Grace Konstanzer to make it 4-1 with 4:44 to going the first half. The Cougars would tack on three more goals in the quarter to take a 7-2 edge into the break.
In the second half Azusa Pacific picked up right where it left off, with a score by Gonzales. Vanguard would get another past Sovick, but another 4-0 Cougar run, capped by Taylor Whitney’s second score of the match, put the contest out of reach at 12-3 heading into the fourth quarter. In the final frame the Lions added a goal before Azusa Pacific went on its final 4-0 run of the match to win 16-4.
“It was a nice win,” said head coach Julie Snodgrass. “We have solid team work and we still have areas to work on, but we’re coming together as a team.”
Whitney scored four times on the day, while Gonzales posted a hat trick with three of her own. Kredel finished with five steals in the match and drew a game-high four ejections, and Courtney Folsom posted her third straight two-goal game.
The Cougars will take a one day break before traveling to Stockton for the Pacific Invite. Azusa Pacific will face a pair of NCAA Div. I programs in Wagner (N.Y.) and Pacific on top of competing with Cal State East Bay and Sonoma State.
“We’re looking forward to this weekend. We face two D-1 teams and two D-2 teams...it’ll be a real test,” said Snodgrass.
For all tournament coverage and to stream matches from the Pacific Invite online click here.