Box Score (PDF)
HAWYWARD, Calif.-- After a sluggish start the Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team made an impressive comeback, but ultimately fell to Cal State East Bay 11-7 on Friday evening. The Cougars fell behind early and trailed 4-2 at the end of the first quarter and 7-3 at the half, before pulling within two goals in the fourth, but the 6-on-5 disparity proved to be too much for the Cougars to overcome.
The Pioneers converted eight of their 12 6-on-5 chances, while Azusa Pacific scored only three times in 11 player-up opportunities to lose its seventh consecutive match. In the loss Alyssa Hess continued to find the back of the net, notching a hat trick and recording her fourth match with two or more goals. Lora Donaldson, Angelina Castaneda, and Megan Minekime each logged goals in the match, while Jessica Armagost tabbed five saves.
Azusa Pacific opened the scoring when Hess beat the Cal State East Bay defense for a goal with 5:48 to play in the first quarter. Taylor Whitney put the Cougars ahead 2-1 a minute later, but the Pioneers then went on a 6-1 run to close the half with a 7-3 lead.
In the second half East Bay rattled off two more scores to grab a 9-3 advantage before the Cougars mounted their comeback. Castaneda ignited the spurt with a goal and Hess tallied two quick scores to make it a 6-9 affair heading into the fourth quarter. Donaldson’s goal with 2:07 to play made it a two-score match with 2:07 to go, but the Pioneers finished with a pair of goals to post an 11-7 victory.
Cal State East Bay’s Sara Hudyn notched a match-high six goals, Claire Pierce finished with three scores, and Pioneer keeper Marrina Nation collected nine saves. Azusa Pacific will return to the pool tomorrow where it’ll face Hartwick (N.Y.) and Pacific at the Pacific Invitational. The first match is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.