Women’s water polo seals conference win over Occidental

Senior attacker Grace Schade scores against the Tigers. Chapman beat Occidental 10-4. Photo by Kaitlin Homan

The women’s water polo team beat last-place Occidental College on Wednesday, March 29 at home in a game that the Panthers led throughout. The Panthers won the match 10-4, securing their fourth-place spot in the conference.

The Panthers then lost to visiting Brown University 17-7 in a non-conference game on March 30.

The Panthers (6-16, 3-1) took control of the first quarter, scoring three goals in the first five minutes. They ended the first half with a 6-0 lead over the Tigers (5-16, 0-4). Senior attacker Grace Schade scored three of the Panthers’ six goals in the first two quarters.

“In the first quarter and half, we had really strong defense and that’s where it all starts. Once you have a good defense, the offense just tends to follow, and that’s what happened for us,” Schade said.

Senior two-meter offender Emiko Mizusawa scores against Occidental. Photo by Kaitlin Homan

While the Panthers continued to carry the lead throughout the second half, the Tigers kept fighting, scoring four goals by the end of the game only to have the Panthers respond by scoring four more as well.

“We got tired in the last quarter, so we had a harder time actually putting the ball in the goal. But overall, we did really well and we kept attacking on offense,” said senior two-meter offender Emiko Mizusawa.

Sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Welfringer said that the team executed tactics it had been working on in practice.

“We’ve come the farthest this season with our defense and a personal goal for us was to work on shot blocks and we practiced that a lot during the week. So, hopefully we can carry that on to future games against better teams,” Welfringer said.

In the game against Brown, the Panthers trailed the NCAA Division I visitors throughout.

The Bears went into halftime leading 10-3 following a strong first quarter. The Panthers improved offensively in the second half, scoring four more consolation goals as the Bears sealed a comfortable 17-7 victory.

Chapman has four conference games remaining in the regular season, with the next one April 5 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 7 p.m. before hosting fourth place California Lutheran University April 8 at 11 a.m.

The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships begin Friday, April 21.

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