TEMPE, Ariz.-- After rallying back for an improbable win on Wednesday, the Cougar women’s water polo team continued its winning ways with its second straight win before falling to Marist in the second match of the Arizona State Invitational on Friday.
Azusa Pacific (10-13) opened the day with a 7-6 win against Occidental, but dropped its second match 11-6 to Marist as junior Taylor Whitney tallied four goals in the two games, while Alyssa Hess and Maryann Slama each found the back of the net three times under the Arizona sun.
In the win over the Tigers the Cougars took a 3-2 lead at the break, and after a high scoring third quarter in which both teams tallied three goals, Azusa Pacific limited Occidental to one score in the final quarter to hold on for the 7-6 win.
Whitney posted the team’s lone hat trick in the victory, while Slama recorded a pair of goals. Alynn Reade dished out a team-high three assists to help the Cougars overcome an 8-3 disadvantage in 6-on-5 opportunities. The Cougars failed to convert any of their power play chances, while the Tigers turned three of their eight chances into goals. Katie Margot notched seven saves in the win.
In the loss to Marist a rough second quarter had the Cougars looking up at a 6-2 halftime deficit. Marist extended that lead to 9-2 with three unanswered scores in the third before the Azusa Pacific offense came alive with four fourth quarter goals. But the Marist lead was simply too big to overcome as the Cougars lost their second match of the four-game weekend set in Tempe, Ariz. 11-6.
Hess notched a hat trick in defeat, while Whitney, Slama, and Megan Myers each added scores in the match. Margot registered eight saves, and Megan Minekime tallied a pair of steals and drawn ejections.
Azusa Pacific will face Whittier and Cal State Bakersfield on day two of the Arizona State Invite, with the first game scheduled for 9 a.m.