April 27, 2012

Water Polo Defeats Gannon & Upsets No. 12 Indiana

Providence, RI- The Brown University women's water polo team defeated both Gannon (16-6) and No. 12 Indiana (5-4) in the first two games of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship hosted at Brown in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. The victory advances Brown (21-15, 5-3 Southern Division) to a 6 p.m. matchup against Harvard or Southern Division champion No. 13-ranked Princeton in the tournament semifinals.

Brown went 1-1 against the Crimson earlier this season with a 7-5 loss in the regular season and a 7-6 win at the Southern Division Championship tournament. However, the Bears fell to the Tigers 18-8 in regular season action before dropping a 9-8 game for the division championship.

GAME ONE:

Against Gannon, freshman Madison Pepper scored four times, including three in the second half to pick up Player of the Game accolades en route to a 16-6 win.

The Bears burst out to a 4-0 lead over the Golden Knights after the first eight minutes of play, and continued to build the lead to begin the second period to take an 8-0 lead with nearly three minutes left in the first half.

Gannon's Molly Andrews broke the silence after collecting a loose ball and drilled one past Brown's Evan Cranston in goal to pull within seven.

The Golden Knights chipped away at their deficit to close the game to 8-3 in the third, however, the Bears outscored Gannon 4-1 over the remainder of the period and 4-2 in the fourth to claim a 10-goal victory over Gannon.

Madison Pepper led the offense with four goals, followed by Emily McNamara, Rebecca Zak, Samantha Ryu, Liz Rosen and Brittany Westerman with two apiece. Also scoring was Kate Woods and Malaika Drebin.

In the cage, Evan Cranston and Sarah Shin combined for nine saves to lead the defense.

GAME TWO:

Madison Pepper scored with 3:22 remaining in regulation for the deciding factor as the host Bears shocked No. 12 Indiana, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Championship.

After a scoreless first period which saw the goalies stop five shots, Claudia Ruiz finally broke the drought in the second quarter by knocking in a shot over the head of goalie Cassie Wyckoff to take a 1-0 edge.

The Hoosiers answered in the closing moment of the first half to even the score at 1-1 heading into the intermission.

In the third period, Brown's offense returned as Zak connected on a scoring shot with 6:35 on the clock. But Indiana's Shae Fournier responded with the equalizer at 6:10 to begin a process of one team going in front before the other countered to balance the board.

Both squads tallied two more goals in the third to head into the final period tied at 4-4. Pepper scored the go-ahead goal and Cranston stopped three shots to advance the Bears into the semi-finals.

Scoring for Bruno was Claudia Ruiz with two goals, while McNamara, Pepper and Zak netted one each. Cranston led the defense with eight saves.