Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15, the Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team registered two splits at the Lancer Invitational in Riverside, Calif.
The Cougars kicked off the invitational on Friday by playing Cal Lutheran in their first match. Senior 2 meter player Megan Minekime tallied the first goal of the match against the Regals. The Cougars led 4-1 in the first quarter with two goals from freshman driver Megan Myers, followed by scores from sophomore utility player Maryann Slama and Minekime.
In the second quarter, Cal Lutheran managed to score four straight goals, giving the team a lead of 5-4. With 3:03 to play in the half, Myers and Slama scored, giving the Cougars a lead of 6-5 before the third quarter.
During the fourth quarter of the match, junior utility player Angelina Castaneda slammed two goals along with Slama to secure the Cougar win 10-5 against the Regals.
In their second match of the day against the Pomona Pitzer Sagehens, the Cougars entered with full force, scoring five goals in the first quarter. Three of the goals came from Slama, while Minekime and senior utility player Allison Gonzalez scored the other two.
In the second quarter, the only goal for the Cougars came from sophomore utility player Alynn Reade, giving her team a 6-3 lead going into the third.
Junior 2 meter player Alyssa Hess opened the third quarter by scoring two goals against the Sagehens. Slama was ejected in the fourth quarter, giving Pomona Pitzer the advantage of 6-on-5. The Sagehens managed to score on the Cougars in this advantage to make it 7-5. The Cougars and the Sagehens exchanged goals throughout the quarter, but Pomona Pitzer scored three more goals, making it 10-8.
In the end, Pomona Pitzer held on for the 11-10 win. The Sagehens had 13 6-on-5 opportunities and two 5-meter penalty shots, helping them advance to win the match. Senior goalkeeper Jessica Armagost and sophomore goalkeeper Katie Margot registered a combined eight saves and seven steals.
On the second day of the invitational, the Cougars successfully managed a comfortable 10-2 win over Occidental College, but lost to the NCAA champion USC Trojans.
In the first quarter, junior utility player Courtney Folsom, Slama, and Minekime each scored goals, giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
The Occidental Tigers registered their first goal in the second quarter. Hess scored in both the third and fourth quarters, followed by goals from Gonzales, Minekime and Castaneda to secure the Cougars’ win of 10-2 against Occidental.
For their final match of the tournament, the Cougars fell to the Trojans, 19-2. The Trojans dashed in the first quarter, scoring four goals. Hess and Folsom scored to put the Cougars’ only goals on the scoreboard.
Friday, Feb. 21, the Cougars will travel to Thousand Oaks, Calif., for the Cal Lutheran Tournament. The Cougars will open against Cal Lutheran at 11:45 a.m. and take on Michigan at 3 p.m. The Cougars will face Pomona Pitzer again Saturday at 1 p.m. and close off the tournament against Cal State East Bay at 6 p.m.