Seniors Lead Women’s Water Polo to 14-9 Victory Over Camels in Regular Season Finale
Conn College 1 6 1 1 - 9
Brown 3 5 4 2 - 14
Goals: Westerman 4, McNamara 3, Crowley 1, Dodd 1, Drebin 1, Koper 1, Presant 1, Rosen 1, Santiago 1
Saves: Shin 3, Louis 1
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Brittany Westerman (Palo Alto, Calif.) fired in four goals and classmate Emily McNamara (Winters, Calif.) tossed in a hat trick to lift Brown women's water polo to a 14-9 victory over Connecticut College in the Bears' regular season finale at Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center on Wednesday. Brown enters postseason play with a 16-14 overall record and has secured the third seed in this weekend's Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division Championships.
Nine seniors player their final game on College Hill this evening and were honored during pregame ceremonies: Malaika Drebin (Palo Alto, Calif.), Raquel Louis (Wellington, Fla.), McNamara, Kristi Munoz (La Verne, Calif.), Sarah Presant (Poway, Calif.), Sarah Shin (Fullerton, Calif.), Carly Wellington (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Westerman and Kate Woods (La Jolla, Calif.).
Freshman Marisa Kolokotronis (Sacramento, Calif.) got the Brown offense rolling with four assists and junior Liz Rosen (San Anselmo, Calif.) nabbed four steals. Shin stopped three shots over two quarters in net and Louis made a save in one period of action. The Bears scored their second-most goals in a single game this season despite Woods, Brown's main offensive weapon all year, finishing with an assist and no goals. Woods completes the regular season with 479 career points, standing alone as Brown's all-time career points leader.
Drebin got things going immediately by drawing a five-meter shot and banking it in off the right post at 7:40. Shin made a leaping save at 7:18, setting up the Bears for a power play on which Westerman converted a shot for a 2-0 lead. The Camels cracked the scoreboard midway through the quarter on a turnaround strike by Kate Jacobson, but just 22 seconds later, McNamara bounced a shot in the lower right corner despite having a defender in her face to give Brown a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore Victoria Pierotti (Newport Beach, Calif.) had two good looks late in the first, having both shots saved by Sarah Sovia on spry one-handed stops to leave the score at 3-1 after eight minutes.
Louis opened the second with a strong one-handed stop of Brianna Harrity's long range shot, allowing Brown to assemble a drive that culminated in freshman Shannon Crowley (Seal Beach, Calif.) notching a breakaway goal after a sharp leading pass from Kolokotronis. Seconds later, the Camels drew an exclusion and Jacobson scored from straight away, making the score 4-2 in Brown's favor.
Connecticut rattled off two more unanswered scores, one from Nicky Jasbon at 4:27 and the other from Jacobson at 3:28 to knot the score at 4-4. McNamara scooped up a loose ball in front of the net and skipped one in at 3:10, but Jasbon maintained the hot hand and scored twice at 2:48 and 2:09 to give the Camels a 6-5 lead. Westerman tallied a man-up goal with a bullet to the top left and Presant attacked from the left side to put Brown up 7-6 with 1:03 left in the half, but Jasbon sank a long shot from straight away for a 7-7 tie with 49 seconds remaining. Sophomore Emma Dodd (Pasadena, Calif.) escaped her defender with 30 seconds left and bounced in a goal to give the Bears an 8-7 lead at the half.
Susan Doetsch struck 37 seconds into the second half for an 8-8 tie but Rosen outswam her defender to a point-blank shot from the right post for a 9-8 Brown lead. After several minutes of defensive play, Westerman drew contact in close quarters and still managed to fire in Brown's 10th goal of the night. McNamara widened the margin at 1:18 when she intercepted a pass and swam the length of the pool for an uncontested goal, pushing Brown ahead 10-8.
Abbey Wrobleski made it a two-goal game with 45 seconds left in the third, squeaking in a shot after a long entry pass. Westerman then flushed her fourth goal of the night from close range, putting the Bears up 12-9 after three quarters.
Brown shut out the Camels in the fourth, relying on sophomore Olivia Santiago (Los Altos, Calif.) to fade back in traffic and whip a high shot for a 13-9 lead at 7:18. With 4:47 left, freshman Hannah Koper (Santa Barbara, Calif.) scored for a 14-9 margin and the Bears controlled the clock the rest of the way for the five-goal victory.
Brown begins postseason action on Saturday in the first round of the CWPA Southern Division Championships at Harvard. The third-seeded Bears draw sixth-seeded Mercyhurst at 4 p.m. and second-seeded Bucknell at 8 p.m.