Women’s water polo drops second game of the week

Senior attacker Grace Schade, right, passes the ball in Saturday’s game against California Lutheran University. The Panthers lost 10-5. Photo by Kaitlin Homan

The women’s water polo team lost its second game of the week against fifth-place California Lutheran University April 8 in a 10-5 defeat.

This loss drops the Panthers (3-3, 6-18) into sixth place as the Regals (4-3, 13-11) move up to fourth place in the conference.

“Obviously, these losses don’t affect our (conference) standings well, and it’s going to be a tough ride from here on out,” said senior attacker Grace Schade.

The Panthers have two games remaining in the regular season, against first-place Whittier College and second-place Pomona-Pitzer. If the Panthers can come out of these games in seventh place or higher, they will be guaranteed a spot in the postseason.

The Regals gained control of the game almost immediately, scoring three goals in the first quarter compared to the Panthers’ one. While the Panthers fought back and scored three more goals in the fourth quarter, the Regals held onto the lead for the whole game and sealed the victory.

Junior goalkeeper Kerry Goodspeed blocks the ball against California Lutheran University in the Panthers’ 10-5 loss. Photo by Kaitlin Homan

“(The Regals) definitely took advantage of our little mistakes,” said senior two-meter defender Emily Fong. “They were really strong and knew how to finish while we didn’t.”

The Panthers’ goal at the beginning of the season was to finish in at least fourth place in the conference, according to players on the team. But after the two losses, the team has shifted its focus.

“Our goals have to be amended after this,” Schade said. “Now, we’re looking ahead to the last two conference games we have because that’s where we’re going to make the difference and hopefully climb back up.”

The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships begin April 21.

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