RIVERSIDE, Calif.-- On day two of the Lancer Invitational the Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team posted its second split of the weekend, cruising in a 10-2 win over Occidental before falling to top-ranked USC in the nightcap. The Cougars, who have alternated wins and losses in their last six matches, had three players find the back of the net twice in the win over the Tigers, before falling to the unbeaten Trojans of USC (8-0) in their final match of the tournament.
After struggling in the 6-on-5 game against Pomona Pitzer on Friday night, the Cougars exhibited impressive defense with a man-down against Occidental, limiting the Tigers to just 1-of-8 in power play opportunities. Alyssa Hess, Allison Gonzales, and Megan Minekime each tabbed multi-goal performances in the win, while sophomore Katie Margot registered 10 saves.
Courtney Folsom and Hess each scored against the reigning NCAA champions in the nightcap, with Maryann Slama registering three steals.
Azusa Pacific got off to a hot start against Occidental, getting first quarter goals from Folsom, Slama, and Minekime to take a 3-0 lead after eight minutes of play. In the second quarter the Tigers and Cougars each notched a goal, with Lora Donaldson providing the Azusa Pacific score.
The Cougars extended their lead to 7-1 after three quarters after, and outscored Occidental 3-1 in the final frame to post a 10-2 win.
In the loss to USC the Trojan sprinted out to a 4-0 lead at the first break, and led 5-0 in the second before Hess put the Cougars on the board with 7:14 remaining in the half. USC, however, rattled off four straight goals to take a 9-1 lead into the break.
USC extended its lead to 14-1 after three quarters, and after a Folsom goal gave Azusa Pacific its second score of the match, the Trojans clinched a 19-2 win. The 19 goals Azusa Pacific surrendered were the fewest any Trojan opponent allowed in USC’s four matches at the Lancer Invite.
Azusa Pacific will compete in its fourth Invite of the season next weekend when it travels to Thousand Oaks for the Cal Lutheran Tournament. The Cougars will open against Cal Lu before taking on nationally ranked Michigan on Friday. On Saturday Azusa Pacific will have a chance to avenge Friday night’s 11-10 loss to Pomona Pitzer before closing the weekend against Cal State East Bay.