Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Water Polo team faced another tough schedule during the LMU Zumo Invite this past weekend but was still able to pull out a tough 8-7 win over George Washington.
The Poets finished the Invite 1-3 once again taking on Division I competition falling to Long Beach State (L, 18-2), Michigan (L, 20-4), and Loyola Marymount (L, 9-6).
Game 1: Long Beach State (L, 18-2)
The Purple & Gold jump started the Invitational with a tough match-up with the 49ers. They managed to get the first goal of the game from Zyania Morales (Commerce, Calif.) and another from Hannah Ellett (Merced, Calif.) midway through the second period but they would trail 7-2 at the break before being outscored 11-0 in the second half.
Katia Montoya (Riverside, Calif.) got the start between the posts and picked up five saves.
Game 2: George Washington (W, 8-7)
Whittier split on the day following an exciting 8-7 win over George Washington. Anastacia Gonzalez (Montebello, Calif.) and Isabella Gorrocino (East Los Angeles, Calif.) scored the lone goals in the first period, while holding the Colonels scoreless but saw that lead evaporate as they gave up three unanswered in the second quarter en rout to trailing 3-2 at the break.
A combined six goals were scored in the third quarter as the offense began to click. Arlin De La Mora (Commerce, Calif.), Gonzalez, and Marina Daroca Bazan (Barcelona, Spain) went back-to-back-to-back that gave WC back the lead at 4-3. Lindsay Shoaff (Costa Mesa, Calif.) answered soon after that again gave Whittier the edge and Jenel Rivera (Whittier, Calif.) would tack on another with :06 seconds left on the clock that moved the score to 6-5 heading into the final stanza.
Rivera picked up a quick goal in the fourth that gave Whittier a two goal cushion but over the next two minutes George Washington would find the back of the goal twice that knotted things up at 7-7. Whittier managed to thwart a man-up opportunity for GW with 2:00 remaining and was able to counter the other way to add the eventual game winner from Gorrocino who unloaded on an even strength connection with 1:14 to play.
Montoya again played between the posts finishing with five saves and a steal.
Whittier outshot GW 22-15 on the game and picked up five exclusions, but was 0-4 on power plays. De La Mora finished with a goal and two assists for the game with an exclusion and three steals. Gorrocino, Rivera, and Gonzalez each finished with goals and combined for nine steals.
Game 3: Michigan (L, 20-4)
Whittier opened up the second day with a tough match-up with the Wolverines. They were outscored 7-1 in the first period with their first goal coming from Gorrocino. Despite giving up five goals in the second, the Purple & Gold were able to add three themselves from Rivera, Morales, and Shoaff to go into the half trailing 12-4. In the second half, offense was tough to come by as Whittier was outscored 8-0, which put the game out of reach.
Montoya again played in goal and totaled 10 saves.
Game 4: Loyola Marymount (L, 9-6)
The Poets played a tough final game against host Loyola Marymount. The last time these two teams met was back on January 28 during the CBU Mini-Tournament in Whittier's season opener. There the Poets fell 20-6.
This time around Whittier put up a fight. They kept it close in the first eight minutes with Gorrocino and Gonzalez finding the back of the goal that made the score 3-2. Both teams scored twice in the second with Gorrocino and Rivera going back to back, which kept Whittier in striking distance at 5-4 at the break.
Out of the half it remained a low scoring affair with each team adding two strikes again, with Rivera connecting twice for WC. Then in the fourth, it was all LMU who shut out the Poets, while adding two insurance tallies that helped them cling to the home win.
Montoya again grabbed double digit saves with 10. Rivera finished with three goals and a steal, while Gorrocino totaled two goals, three exclusions and two steals.
Whittier was outshot on the game 29-21, was 4-7 on power plays and had eight exclusions.
Whittier enters Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play this Wednesday, March 22 as they host Claremont-M-S beginning at 7:00pm.