Women’s water polo advances to Easterns

The GW women’s water polo team advanced to the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s Eastern Championships after a fourth-place finish at CWPA Southerns in Lewisburg, Pa., this weekend.

The team will travel to Cambridge, Mass. April 25 for its seventh-consecutive Eastern appearance. The top finisher from Easterns will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Head Coach Scott Reed said the tournament will provide his team with its toughest competition yet but is confident they can compete.

“Our chances are very good going into the Eastern Championships,” he said. “Our half-court defense can compete with the best teams in the country. We just have to be able to score and balance our offense, and if we can do that, we can win some games.”

GW lost the third-place match in its last game of the Southern tournament Sunday against No. 13 Princeton, 9-3. GW, looking to avenge its two losses to the Tigers earlier this season, came out strong and held Princeton to a 2-1 halftime advantage.

But Princeton tallied seven second-half goals for the win and the third-place finish. Junior Vanessa Fravel led GW with two goals while classmate Kira Canon added one.

“We made some big mistakes in the second half, and they capitalized, outscoring us 4-0 in the third period,” Reed said. “We played even with them in the fourth period, but the lead was just too much to overcome.”

In GW’s third match of the tournament Saturday, GW lost 14-2 to No. 10 Michigan, the team atop the Big Ten this year.

“We just got outplayed by Michigan and we could never really get our offense going,” Reed said.

GW fell behind early, 4-0 after the first period, and could not come back. Canon and junior Elisabeth Schweitzer each scored a goal.

The Colonials won both of their Friday matches, the first with a 19-4 victory over Washington and Jefferson, the second a 9-7 win over host Bucknell.

GW led Bucknell 4-2 at the half and seemed to be in control of the game, but the Bison stormed back and took a 7-6 lead going into the fourth period. The Colonials mounted a comeback of their own, however, outscoring Bucknell 3-0 in the final period to take the win.

Canon led the Colonials with three goals and Schweitzer and Fravel each added two while sophomore Kendra Shanely and senior co-captain Ashley Pyka had one apiece.

GW kicked off the weekend with a win over Washington and Jefferson, outmatching the Presidents with a 5-0 lead after the first quarter.

Fravel led the way with four goals while Schweitzer and Shanely each added three.

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