April 5, 2009

Women's Water Polo Sweeps League Games; Survives Harvard

April 5, 2009

Boston, MA - The Brown women's water polo team (17-12) played four games in less than 24 hours and was able to finish 4-0 to close out the week. Just one day after upsetting No. 12 Hartwick in overtime, the Bears got back in the pool to take on No. 3 Northern Division foe Harvard.

"I'm very proud of this team," said Head Coach Felix Mercado. "To play four games in less than 24 hours and win them all is amazing. Harvard played well and we were fortunate to rally and win the game. I expect the kind of game next week when we play them at Wheaton."

The Bears started out the day cruising to two victories against Utica and Connecticut College, 13-3 and 13-7, respectively. Rookie Misa Scharfen (Santa Rosa, CA) started both games in goal for Bruno, and finished with a combined 20 saves.

Against Utica, freshman Bethany Kwoka (San Mateo, CA) and sophomore Joanna Wohlmuth (Manhattan Beach, CA) led the offense with four goals apiece. Bruno jumped out to a 5-2 lead after the first quarter, and continued its scoring spree into the second when they outscored Utica 4-1 to increase its lead 9-3 heading into halftime. Brown's stellar defense held Utica scoreless in the second half and Brown earned the 13-3 win. Also chipping in with goals was sophomore Katherine Stanton (Danville, CA), senior Rory Stanton (Danville, CA), freshman Allyson Schumacher (Des Moines, WA), Haley Strausser (Lafayette, CA) and Lauren Presant (Poway, CA) with one goal each.

Rory Stanton was Brown's top scorer against Connecticut College with five goals, as junior Sarah Glick (Bonita, CA) put in two. Bruno gained an immediate 6-1 lead after the first eight minutes, and scored three more to the Camels' two to increase its lead to 9-3 heading into the second half. The scoring was even in the next two quarters, four goals to four, as the Bears came out on top with the 13-7 victory.

Sophomore Rita Bullwinkel (Portola Valley, CA), Katherine Stanton, sophomore Natascha Mangan (Keizer, OR), Candice Sisouvanvieng-Kim (Albuquerque, NM) and Presant each added a goal, as Scharfen tallied 10 saves.

The Bears and Crimson battled in the last game of the day, as the Bears prevailed 11-10. Brown stormed out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Crimson fought back to score the next five consecutive goals to take a 5-4 lead in the second quarter. But the Bears answered back outscoring Harvard 3-2 that quarter, to take a 7-6 lead heading into the second half. The Bears were unable to pull away, and actually saw the Crimon take a 10-8 lead with the help of Devin Kennifer five goals. Down by two in the fourth quarter, Bruno received two consecutive goals from PResant to tie the game at 10, as Rory Stanton hit the game-winner with two minutes left. Brown's defense was able to hold of numerous attempts by the Crimson, as Brown earned the 11-10 win. Junior Stephanie Laing (Ann Arbor, MI) led the defense with nine saves, as Wohlmuth drew three ejections to go along with a steal and an assist.