Women’s water polo in the US has seen a flurry of activity in the past few weeks, but with the weekend ahead looking relatively quiet, it’s a good opportunity to look back at the main events of the past fortnight.
In recent news, two of the top teams, Stanford and USC, won tournament titles in the last two weeks, and remain undefeated after eight games each.
Stanford remained unbeaten after securing dominant victories over UC Davis and Pacific at the Aggie Invite. Team USA’s Aria Fischer, Jenna Flynn, and Jewel Roemer were among the star players for the team, each finishing the doubleheader with impressive goal tallies. Meanwhile, Maggie Hawkins also combined for five goals over the two wins, making her a key contributor to Stanford’s success.
USC won all four games en route to the UC San Diego Invitational title (5th February). The Trojans defeated rivals UCLA 10-8 in overtime for first place, along with Concordia, UC Irvine, and Indiana in the earlier rounds. In the championship game against UCLA, USC was down 8-6 in the fourth quarter but managed a stunning comeback, holding the Bruins scoreless for about 10 minutes and winning the game in double overtime. Seasoned internationals Bayley Weber and Paige Hauschild (USA) and Tilly Kearns (Aussie Stingers) were the key players for USC, each scoring twice in the finals, with the latter two scoring in the second OT session.
On Saturday (11th February), UCLA extended its unbeaten record against the Anteaters with a 12-9 victory over UC Irvine. Anna Pearson and Katrina Drake each scored twice, while Val Ayala and Malia Allen contributed three points each with a goal and two assists apiece. Emma Lineback continued her scoring streak, netting a goal in the fourth quarter and maintaining her impressive record of scoring in all 11 games this year.
USC and UCLA will both feature at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational between the weekend of the 24th-26th.
The Cal Bears also had a great outing at the Aggie Invite, earning a pair of double-digit wins over California Baptist and UC Davis. Abbi Magee and Janna Tauscher were the top performers for the team, each finishing the day with five total goals. The two players recorded hat tricks in each game, with Magee scoring four goals against CBU, and Tauscher and Shea Salvino each scoring hat tricks against UCD. Millie Quin was also in fine form, adding three goals to her team’s win against CBU.
Hawaii enjoyed a decent time at Stanford Triton Invitational, snagging the bronze medal after a series of impressive wins. They proved to be a force to be reckoned with, taking down San Diego State (18-8), Fresno State (11-8), and then UC Irvine (12-8) in the third-place game. Brazillian Center Bia Mantellato Dias was a standout player, racking up an impressive 11 goals over the weekend.
San Jose managed to finish the UC Davis Invitational with two wins over Cal Baptist and CSU Monterey Bay. Europeans Sinia Plotz (Germany) and Olga Descalzi (Spain) were instrumental in the victories, with Descalzi scoring hat tricks in both games and collecting three steals against CBU. However, the Spartans suffered losses on the first day of the tournament against UC Davis and the Pacific Tigers.
The Arizona Sun Devils split four games in the Stanford Invitational. The team managed to upset Michigan 7-6 and defeated San Jose State 9-7 on the second day of the tournament. French International and former player of Mulhouse, Juliette Dhalluin, was the standout player for the team, scoring a hat trick, providing two assists, and collecting three steals in the win against Michigan. Itzahiana Baca put in a commanding performance in goal. Kiwi Sophie Shorter-Robinson also scored four goals in the team’s loss to Stanford on the first day.
Michigan made it three from three at the Bucknell Invitational, downing LIU 15-11, Saint Francis 22-6, and the hosts Bucknell, 12-1.
This weekend’s top picks
Saturday 18th February
USC vs UC Irvine
Indiana vs Wagner
Sunday 19th February
Indiana vs Pacific Tigers
San Jose State vs Brown
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