SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team lost two matches on Saturday at the UCSB Mini Tournament, falling to a pair of ranked teams to drop to 1-5 in 2013. In the morning match No. 8 ranked (CWPA) Loyola Marymount held the Cougars to just two scores in 17-2 win before No. 24 Pacific recorded a 13-5 defeat of Azusa Pacific. And while slow starts killed the Cougars in Friday’s losses, on Saturday it proved to be Azusa Pacific’s second quarters that provided the biggest challenge.
In the loss to LMU the Lions outscore Azusa Pacific 8-1 to take an 11-1 lead into the half, and then after the Cougars matched the Tigers goal-for-goal in the opening frame Pacific posted a 6-0 period to take control of the match with a 9-3 advantage at the break. Azusa Pacific turned it over 17 times against the Lions, but managed to make amends with 12 steals.
Alyssa Hess registered a team-high three takeaways, while Alynn Reade, and Jennifer Horchler each tabbed two. In the loss to Pacific Azusa Pacific cleaned things up considerably, only committing four turnovers while tallying 10 steals, led by Horchler’s three.
Six different Cougars scored on the day, with Alyssa Hess leading the way with two in the loss to Pacific. Taylor Whitney, Brittany Garrigan, Maryann Slama, and Horchler each foundthe back of the net, while keeper Jessica Armagost combined for eight saves.
In the opening match LMU opened with a 3-0 run before outscoring Azusa Pacific 8-1 in the second period. The Cougars’ drought continued into the fourth quarter before Loyola Marymount went on to post the lopsided victory. Horchler drew a team-high three ejections in the defeat and Folsom and Garrigan accounted for Azusa Pacific’s two scores. The Cougars converted only on of their seven 6-on-5 chances, while the Lions capitalized three times in six opportunities.
Against Pacific the Cougars did their best to stay in it early, netting three goals in the first eight minutes to go into the second quarter with a 3-3 tie. But a 6-0 frame, followed by a 4-0 third quarter for Pacific put the match out of reach. Azusa Pacific, however, continued to compete, and posted a 2-0 edge in the fourth quarter before falling 13-5.
Azusa Pacific had plenty of chances in the game, but missed 25 shots, and only scored on one of its six player-up advantages. Hess beat the Tigers’ defense for two goals, while Taylor and Horchler each tabbed scores. Slama and Megan Minekime recorded a steal and assist apiece, and Folsom and Taylor each drew two ejections.
The Cougars, riding a five-match losing streak, will hope to break the skid against Cal State East Bay on Friday before competing in the Pacific Invitational in Stockton on Saturday.