Women’s water polo loses to first-place Whittier

Senior two-meter defender Emily Fong goes for a goal against Whittier. Fong led the Panthers with two goals and three assists. The Poets defeated the Panthers 13-6. Photo by Bonnie Cash

The women’s water polo team lost its third conference game in a row with a 13-6 senior night defeat to first-place Whittier College.

Chapman mathematically cannot be eliminated from playoff contention with the winless California Institute of Technology (0-7, 1-14) seated in last place in the conference, but the Whittier loss was a missed chance for the sixth-place Panthers to improve their tournament seeding.

“This loss doesn’t mean that much in terms of where we are in conference standings, but it would’ve been nice to get a win,” said senior two-meter offender Emiko Mizusawa. “The way our conference is, anything can happen – so there’s a chance we can end up going into (the conference championships) ranked anywhere from fifth to seventh.”

All four Chapman seniors provided the scoring for the Panthers , with seniors two-meter defender Emily Fong, utility player Lindsey Campbell, attacker Grace Schade and Mizusawa finding the net. Fong led the Panthers with two goals and three assists.

Senior attacker Grace Schade scores a goal through two Whittier players. The Poets beat the Panthers 13-6. Photo by Bonnie Cash

“I think we all had a very solid game,” Fong said. “Having all of us score was a great way for us to finish. We all really get along, so we were rooting for each other to score.”

The second and third quarters marked a tough period for the Panthers, who conceded nine of their 13 goals allowed during that stretch. Whittier senior attackers Zyania Morales and Arlin De La Mora led the Poets with three goals each.

“For Saturday, we need to work on putting our opportunities away,” Fong said. “We can’t have one bad quarter, because then it makes it really difficult to get back in the game.  ”

The Panthers play their final conference game Saturday, April 15 at Pomona-Pitzer at 11 a.m. before the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships begin the following weekend.

“To get momentum back, we just need to keep up the energy on the bench, because when they’re excited, they get those of us that are playing pumped up” Mizusawa said.

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