THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.-- It’s not too often you can go 1-2 and come away smiling. But on Saturday the Azusa Pacific water polo team did just that after breaking two program records in a 22-3 win over Cal Tech after falling to No. 9 Long Beach State in the morning before losing to Cal State East Bay in the nightcap.
The 22 goals and 19-goal margin of victory are both Azusa Pacific records. Angelina Castaneda and Alyssa Hess each scored four goals in the win, while four other Cougars tabbed two scores apiece. Katie Margot recorded 14 saves, two steals, and two assists, while limiting Cal Tech to three goals; the fewest allowed by Azusa Pacific this season.
Allison Gonzales and Megan Minekime helped run the Cougar attack, notching four assists apiece. The Cougars assisted on 18 of their 22 makes, and registered 16 takeaways to seal the win.
The victory helps to relieve the sting of a tough 12-10 loss to Cal State East Bay in the final match of the team’s five-game trip to Thousand Oaks. Azusa Pacific also fell to the 49ers 15-3 in the morning. Taylor Whitney, Courtney Folsom, and Jennifer Horcheler all tallied two scores against the Pioneers, with Horchler tabbing a match-high four steals.
Azusa Pacific again dug itself into a sizable deficit early on against East Bay, looking up at a 7-1 Pioneer lead midway through the second quarter. The Cougars, however, continued their resilient ways, scoring eight of the next 11 goals in a spree that saw four different players find the back of the net. In the run Brittany Garrigan got one goal past the Pioneer defense, while Whitney and Horchler recorded two each to make it a 10-8 match with seven minutes to play.
East Bay went up by three on a goal with 6:22 on the clock, but the Cougars responded with back-to-back Folsom goals to make it 11-10 at the 1:57 mark. The Pioneers made it a two possession match on the ensuing possession as the Cougars’ comeback bid fell short in a 12-10 loss.
Jessica Armagost finished with eight saves in the match, and recorded a pair of steals. Maryann Slama and Minekime each found the back of the net in the loss, while Whitney and Horchler added assists.
In the victory over Cal Tech Azusa Pacific scored early and often, jumping out to a 5-0 advantage midway through the opening frame. Cal Tech broke the run with a goal late in the frame, but the Cougars responded with nine consecutive scores, taking a 13-1 lead at the half, and going ahead 14-1 early in the third. Following a Cal Tech score Azusa Pacific went on its third five-plus goal run, grabbing a 21-2 lead before collecting the largest win in the program’s five-year history.
12 players scored in the game, with six notching multiple goals. The Cougars will enjoy a week off of action before hosting its first of three home matches of the season on March 12th. The Cougars will take on Wagner (N.Y.) for a 12:30 contest at Citrus College, adjacent to Azusa Pacific. The match will be streamed online on Azusa Pacific’s live-video portal.