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Photo by Carlos Garcia
Azusa Pacific routed St. Francis in its first home match of the season on Tuesday.

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Published
March 18, 2014
By
Chris Baker

Box Score (PDF)

GLENDORA, Calif.-- For the first time all season the Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team had a chance to play in front of its home crowd, and the Cougars didn’t disappoint in their long-awaited home opener, defeating St. Francis (N.Y.) 10-2 at the Citrus Aquatic Center on Tuesday.

Azusa Pacific (12-14) shutout the Terriers (3-6) through the first two quarters, limiting St. Francis to just one 6-on-5 goal in seven chances behind a stifling defense and sophomore keeper Katie Margot’s 10 saves. The Cougars, who allowed harmless goals in the third and fourth quarters, had a trio of two-goal scorers, while six different players found the back of the net in the first of five home matches for the team this season.

“It’s great to be at home. It’s refreshing for the team to be able to play near campus in front of their fans for a change. It’s been a tough schedule so far, so for us to get back and not have to travel is a real benefit,” said head coach Julie Snodgrass. “We played pretty good defense. We were able to do well against their 6-on-5s, and all around our defense was solid. We forced them to dump the ball a few times, and it led to possessions for us.”

Azusa Pacific controlled the match from the get-go, allowing only one first quarter shot, and continually forcing the Terriers to keep the ball on the perimeter before having to dump with the shot clock winding down.

Offensively Azusa Pacific took an early lead and never relinquished it, getting first quarter goals from Alynn Reade and Angelina Castaneda. Second quarter goals from Megan Minekime, Lora Donaldson, and Courtney Folsom gave the Cougars a 5-0 lead at the half.

Castaneda’s second goal of the match made it a 6-0 game with 6:24 to play in the third, before Reade put Azusa Pacific ahead 7-0. The Terriers ended the Cougars’ bid for a shutout with a goal at the 4:16 mark, but Donaldson countered off an Alyssa Hess pass to push the Azusa Pacific lead to 8-1 headed into the final frame.

The first 6-on-5 goal of the day, a score from Maryann Slama with 6:09 on the clock, put the Cougars up 9-1, and the team’s second power play goal of the game (Hess) capped Azusa Pacific’s scoring. A last minute goal from St. Francis gave the Terriers their second score of the day before Azusa Pacific sealed its third consecutive home victory.

On Friday Azusa Pacific will play in its first Golden Coast Conference match, taking on Fresno Pacific at 6:30 in Fresno. The Cougars will then take on fellow GCC foe Pacific in Stockton on Saturday as part of a doubleheader against the Tigers and Redlands.