Bears Roll in Season Openers, Going 3-0

Feb. 11, 2007

Providence, RI - The Smith Swim Center played host to the first day of the Ivy Tournament on Saturday, as the Brown women's water polo team (1-0) opened its season with three wins. The Bears defeated club teams from Yale (17-1) and Penn (19-1) easily to start the day, then went on to beat varsity Wagner, 10-8, in their first test of the year.

In both early games, the Bears got out to huge leads early and coasted. Against Yale, the home team was up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, then put things on cruise control, scoring seven goals the rest of the way. Junior Alexis Blaxberg (Miami, FL), sophomore Rory Stanton (Danville, CA), and freshman Lauren Presant (Poway, CA) each had three goals to lead the team. Similarly, after getting out to a 12-0 lead at the half against Penn, Head Coach Jason Gall and his club slowed it down, scoring just seven times in the second half. Senior co-captain Elizabeth Balassone (Los Altos, CA) led the team with four goals in that match, with senior co-captain Paige Lansing (Newport Beach, CA), freshman Sarah Glick (Bonita, CA), and Presant chipping in three apiece. Freshman goaltender Stephanie Laing (Ann Arbor, MI) stopped 11 shots combined in the two games, chipping in three assists and a steal against Penn.

Still, Brown came into the day knowing the real test would come against Wagner, the team's true season opening opponent. After Balassone opened the scoring just over half a minute in, the Seahawks scored three to take a 3-1 lead. Glick scored with 41 seconds left in the frame, but the Seahawks got back up the pool and got another to go into the first break with a 4-2 cushion. However, the Bears put the defensive clamps on in the second period, not allowing the Seahawks to score while Glick and junior Emily Schwartz (Miami, FL) scored to tie things up.

After halftime, senior co-captain Caitlin Fahey (Seattle, WA) scored with the Bears on a man-advantage to give them back the lead. Balassone and Glick followed to make the lead 7-4, but the Seahawks clawed their way back to tie things at 7-7. Glick's fourth and final goal with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter would give the Bears the lead for good. Goals by Balassone and Schwartz gave Brown a 10-7 lead before Wagner scored the game's final goal with 1:51 remaining.

Glick, in her first official collegiate game, led the Bears with four goals and four ejections drawn, also tying fellow freshman Presant for the team lead with three steals. The team's third rookie, Laing, stopped 11 shots in the cage to win her first game. Lansing and fellow senior co-captain Claire Angyal (Sydney, Australia) each had three assists to lead the Bears.

On Sunday, the Bears will play Villanova at 8 a.m. to open the day. They'll follow with a semifinal match-up against Dartmouth, a club team, at 11 a.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of Harvard and Penn in the championship game at approximately 3:15 p.m.

Pool A Standings
1. Brown - 2-0
2. Penn - 1-1
3. Yale - 0-2

Pool B Standings
1. Harvard - 2-0
2. Villanova* - 1-1
3. Dartmouth - 0-2
* = will automatically play in fifth-place game