It was a slow start for the Azusa Pacific women’s water polo team Saturday, April 12 with a 13-5 loss to No. 11-ranked Division I Golden Coast Conference Loyola Marymount. In the first quarter, LMU was limited to only one goal by the Cougars. The Lions tabbed 12 goals in the remaining quarters.
The Cougars inched closer in the third and fourth quarters with freshman driver Megan Myers making two goals in the third and junior utility player Courtney Folsom and freshman driver Alex Paxton each making a goal in the final quarter, but it was not enough to catch up to the Lions.
Senior driver Megan Minekime also tallied a goal in the second quarter. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Margot tabbed a total of eight saves in the game.
Head coach Julie Snodgrass went into the contest focusing on good team defense and movement offense.
“They’re a really good, fast, physical team, and so we knew that we would be coming in to a really high-speed, high-intensity game,” Snodgrass said.
Snodgrass got the Cougars into a similar mindset for their next game in the late afternoon, leading into their 15-6 win over Chapman University.
With 3:25 left to play in the first quarter, Chapman held a 2-1 lead over Azusa Pacific. The Cougars scored two goals in 90 seconds, the first coming from Minekime and the second coming from Folsom, to take a lead they kept for the remainder of the match.
The Cougars sent an offensive barrage against the Panthers in the second quarter, putting up seven goals in the frame. The attack was led by junior utility player Taylor Whitney, who scored three goals in the quarter.
Twenty-one seconds into the second quarter, junior utility player Angelina Castaneda scored to make it 4-2. Two goals from Whitney and a goal from Folsom came throughout the quarter to push the APU lead to 7-2, and Whitney then scored her third goal of the quarter. With just under a minute left in the half, Minekime scored, and with a second left until halftime, junior driver Alyssa Hess scored on a 6-on-5 opportunity to enter halftime with a 10-2 lead.
In the second half, APU took its foot off the gas pedal and cruised its way to victory. The Cougars still held the scoring advantage in the half, edging Chapman 5-4 in the second.
Four of the five Cougar second-half goals came in the third quarter. After Chapman scored the first goal of the second half 1:42 into play, APU tallied four goals in the frame. Senior utility player Allison Gonzalez and Whitney scored two goals each in the third.
Sophomore utility player Alynn Reade scored APU’s final goal of the match in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Margot played in the first half and allowed only two goals while logging three saves. After halftime, she was replaced by senior goalkeeper Jessica Armagost, who allowed four goals and logged three saves.
Azusa Pacific will finish its regular season Wednesday, April 16 against San Diego State at Citrus College before heading off to the Golden Coast Conference tournament Thursday, April 24.