RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Lancers Invitational did not end as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team wanted, finishing the second day with two losses. The Athenas fought hard and were tested against two strong Division II programs, but the defense from Cal Baptist University and Fresno Pacific University proved to be a tough challenge.
Junior Claire Baxter (CMC) had a strong showing, scoring two goals against FPU and nabbing a team-leading three steals against CBU. Freshman Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) also added two goals in the second day.
The Athenas were locked in on the defensive end at the start of the game, containing the Lancers' offense until they surrendered one goal with less than a minute left. However, they struggled to generate any offense as they trailed 1-0 heading into the second period. Paizlee Dreyer got on board with 5:30 left in the second period to double the Lancers' lead, but sophomore Tess van Hulsen (CMC) scored the Athenas' first goal two minutes later to make it 2-1. The Lancers struck back less than 30 seconds later and scored another off a power play with 2:12 left in the half to make it 4-1. Aldrete cut the lead in half with 1:26 remaining in the half.
Junior Roxy Kiessling (CMC) brought the Athenas within one and after scoring 20 seconds into the third period. The two teams went back and forth until Cal Baptist broke out with a 3-0 run to close the half. The Lancers scored three more in the fourth period while playing shutout defense to close the game.
In their final game of the tournament, the Athenas were dealt with a tough matchup as Fresno Pacific opened up the first period with a 4-0 run. Baxter finally got the Athenas on the board in the second period, but the Sunbirds answered back a minute later.
Baxter added another goal in the third period as did sophomore Krystal Sung (CMC), but it was too late to cover the deficit as the Sunbirds took a 9-3 lead into the fourth period.
CMS will return home to host George Washington University on Wednesday, March 15 at 4 p.m. and Bucknell University at 7 p.m. the same day.