April 19, 2009

Brown Water Polo Splits on Final Day of Northern Championship

April 19, 2009

The Brown women's water polo team split on the last day of the Northern Division Championship hosted by Connecticut College when it defeated Utica 4-3, but then fell to Hartwick 11-7.

Four Bears tallied goals in Brown's defeat over Utica, as Bethany Kwoka (San Mateo, CA), Rita Bullwinkel (Portola Valley, CA), Samantha Ryu (Santa Barbara, CA) and Joanna Wohlmuth (Manhattan Beach, CA) posted one apiece as rookie goalkeeper Misa Scharfen (Santa Rosa, CA) led the defense with 14 saves.

The Hartwick Hawks were out for revenge during the championship game, as the Bears recently defeated them in overtime at "home" at Wheaton College, 8-7. The Hawks gained an early 2-0 lead before junior Sarah Glick (Bonita, CA) put Brown on the board in the first eight minutes of play. Hartwick was able to increase its lead to 3-1 heading into the second quarter.

"I felt we played well enough to win the game," said Head Coach Felix Mercado. "We just made too many mistakes on the offensive end and Hartwick converted them to scoring opportunities. They are too good of a team for us not to protect the ball better.

Bruno came back strong in the next eight minutes and outscored Hartwick 2-1 behind two more goals by Glick to bring the score to 4-3 at the half. A big goal by senior Rory Stanton (Danville, CA) tied the game at four only to see Hartwick score three counter attack goals off Brown mistakes. The Hawks continued to outscore Brown 4-2 to end the game with an 11-7 advantage.

Brown was led by another amazing performance by goalie Stephanie Laing (Ann Arbor, MI) with 15 saves. Glick led the offense with three goals, followed by Kwoka, Katherine Stanton (Danville, CA), Wohlmuth and Rory Stanton with one apiece. Bullwinkel handed out two assists in today's action while Wohlmuth added two steals and two ejections drawn.

The Bears qualified for the Eastern Championship next weekend hosted by Harvard University, and will find out Monday at noon where they will be seeded in the tournament. The winner of the Eastern Championship will received an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.

"I am excited to see where we will end up being seeded and I feel that this team can create some more magic next weekend at Harvard," added Mercado. "It should be fun."