In head coach Scott Reed’s words, the 12-4 victory over Mercyhurst Sunday served as a defensive breakthrough for the women’s water polo team.
“Our defense has finally awoken,” Reed said. “We needed to commit to defense and we were able to do that today.”
With their defeat of the Lakers, the Colonials (5-12) capped off their most impressive stretch of play this season. This past weekend marked the first ever GW Women’s Water Polo Colonials Invite, where, along with its victory over Mercyhurst, GW beat Villanova 13-5 and narrowly lost to Siena 13-11. The stretch of home games was a boost for the team, which drew upon the energy of the crowd during play.
“We always like playing at home because the team really is able to feed off of the crowd,” Reed said.
GW’s strong defense, holding the Lakers to just four points, also led to an efficient offensive game against Mercyhurst. Senior goalkeeper Charlotte Schou took advantage of her 18 saves, throwing long outlet passes and igniting fast break opportunities. Schou’s performance gave her 702 career saves, tying her for second all-time at GW. Her teammate, junior attack Allison Peotter also had a record-setting defensive performance, grabbing two steals to become GW’s all-time leader with 170 in her career.
“We had our meetings during the week and we practiced defense a lot,” Peotter said. “We knew that we would have to defend well against the teams at the invite.”
Boosted by their strong defensive performance, Sunday’s game featured a variety of Colonials who contributed offensively. The strongest offensive performance for the Colonials came from junior center Megan Walker, who added five goals and an assist against Mercyhurst. Peotter finished with three goals and two assists, while freshman attack Megan Brolley added two goals of her own. Other scorers included both senior attack Erin Delker and freshman utility Allison Littlejohn who each chipped in a goal. Reflecting on his team’s dominant performance, Reed linked its success on defense to the subsequent burst of offensive power.
“We cannot forget about what makes us a good team,” Reed said. “When we play hard defensively, our offense picks up. That is when we play at our best.”
GW will be away from the Smith Center for its next five matches. As the Colonials prepare for their matches against Michigan at 11:30 a.m. and Bucknell at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10, they’re looking to uphold the impressive play they’ve demonstrated of late.
“We always want to keep up by being consistent,” Peotter said. “We also have grown closer as a team. Team unity is strong.”