RIVERSIDE, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team ended its 2013 campaign the same way it started it, posting a spilt with a win over Fresno Pacific. The Cougars, who closed the 2013 season on a roll with wins over Cal State Monterey Bay, FPU, and Chapman in the past three weeks, registered an 11-6 win over the Sunbirds before falling 17-6 to host California Baptist in the Lancer Mini Invitational to close out their fifth season of competition.
In the victory Maryann Slama posted a hat trick, scoring three goals against Fresno Pacific, while Taylor Whitney added two goals in the win. The Cougars outscored the Sunbirds 6-3 in the second half after Fresno Pacific scored a last second goal in the second quarter to make it a 5-3 contest with 16 minutes to play. Azusa Pacific held off the Sunbirds with a 3-to-2 scoring advantage in the third before pulling away with three of the four fourth quarter goals.
In the loss Alyssa Hess rattled off three goals as the Lancers got six goals from Hannah Evans to register a 17-6 victory. Lora Donaldson, Angelina Castaneda, and Whitney found the back of the net in the loss, as Katie Margot and Jessica Armagost combined for rour saves.
Azusa Pacific closed out its fifth water polo season, and second with head coach Julie Snodgrass under the helm.
“It was a fun year, it was a growing year. It was a pleasure to work with athletes that wanted to work hard every day,” said Snodgrass. “With a pretty young squad we’ll have a lot of returners next year and I believe we’ll see a lot of improvement. It was a stretching, growing year. I was pleased with the girls, and I’m proud of how hard they worked and how far we’ve come.”
The Cougars played a brutal schedule through the early part of the season, facing multiple teams ranked inside the Collegiate Water Polo Association top-20, including No. 2 ranked USC. Azusa Pacific then closed on a surge, grabbing wins over Cal State Monterey Bay, Chapman, and Marist in the final weeks to finish with an 11-21 record.