THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.-- Playing in heavy winds, the Azusa Pacific water polo team struggled to find the cage, scoring just eight goals combined in a pair of losses at the Posada Royale Invitational.
The Cougars, who have now lost five in a row, dropped the day’s opening match to tournament-host Cal Lutheran 9-3, before giving up a fourth quarter lead to Pomona Pitzer in a 7-5 setback. Taylor Whitney led all Cougars with three goals on the day, all in a hat trick against the Sagehens, while Gabriele Kedrel found the back of the net twice in the two games.
In the first match the Regals jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and went into halftime up 5-1. Cal Lutheran tacked on another goal in the third quarter before scoring three times in the fourth. The Cougars found the goal twice in the final frame, but never threatened after the first break.
Alison Gonzales scored once in the match, while Courtney Folsom tallied her team-leading 24th goal in the loss. Jennifer Horchler recorded four steals in the match, while Whitney, Megan Minekime, and Lora Donaldson each registered a pair of steals. Brooke Sovick finished with five saves as the Regals converted on two of their six 6-on-5 opportunities.
The second match saw Azusa Pacific go into the fourth holding a one-score lead. The Cougars and Sagehens each scored twice in the opeing quarter and once in the second to go into the break tied 3-3. In the third Azusa Pacific beat Pomona-Pitzer’s defense for two goals and held the Sagehens to one score to go into the final quarter with a 5-4 lead. But in the fourth Pomona-Pitzer got past Sovick three times and shutout the Cougar offense to register a 7-5 win.
Whitney posted her first hat trick of the season, while Donaldson and Kredel each scored once. Sovick finished with six saves in the match. The Cougars get back in the pool tomorrow and face UC Santa Barbara at 11:45 a.m. before taking on Chapman at 3:30.