Baxter Leads Athenas to Pair of Victories on Thursday

Claire Baxter scores four goals to help the Athenas to a 13-3 victory over Connecticut College. (photo credit: Alicia Tsai)
Claire Baxter scores four goals to help the Athenas to a 13-3 victory over Connecticut College. (photo credit: Alicia Tsai)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Athenas scored 10 goals in the first-half en route to a runaway, 13-3 victory over the Connecticut College women's water polo team in Axelrood Pool on Thursday afternoon. The Athenas followed up their afternoon victory with a 13-6 win over the Occidental Tigers in the night-cap of their doubleheader. Claire Baxter (CMC) scored four goals in each game for a total of eight on the day to lead CMS to a pair of victories.

Game One - CMS defeats Connecticut College 13-3

Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) and Baxter scored in the first 2:09 of the game to open up a 2-0 lead for CMS in the early going. April Anderson scored a goal for the Camels 40 seconds later to break up the CMS scoring run, but Anna Fry (HMC) and Emma Choy (CMC) responded with goals to build the CMS advantage to three at 4-2.

Connecticut's Stephania Lopez connected at the end of the period, but the Athenas held a 4-2 lead after the opening quarter.

The Athenas dominated the next two periods, scoring eight-straight goals to build a 12-2 lead. CMS scored six goals in the second period with Baxter putting through two and Amelia Ayala (CMC), Fry, Roxy Kiessling (CMC), and Jessica Gaffney (CMC) each connecting once. Baxter found another goal to start the third period and Aldrete followed to make it a 10-goal game by the end of the third period.

Lopez scored early in the fourth quarter for the Camels and Haley Gibbs (SC) connected late in the contest for the 13-3 final.

In goal, Chandlyr Denaro (CMC) made three saves and grabbed four steals. As a team, CMS collected 24 steals and limited the Camels to just nine shots on the afternoon.

Game Two - CMS defeats Occidental 13-6

After Occidental opened the scoring in the second game of the Athenas' split-doubleheader, the Athenas rattled off six-straight tallies to take a 6-1 leads late in the first-half. The Tigers scored two goals in the final minutes of the second period to make it a 6-3 CMS lead at the break. The Athenas opened the second-half with a five-goal third period to open up an 11-4 lead heading to the fourth. Each side connected for two goals in the fourth period and CMS claimed the 13-6 victory.

Just as she did in Game One, Claire Baxter led the Athenas with four goals while also handing out a pair of helpers. Roxy Kiessling, Amelia Ayala, and Jessica Gaffney each scored two goals in the victory as seven different Athenas found the back of the net. Gaffney added three assists to her two goal total while Kiessling totaled five steals in the game.

The Athenas' first-half run was fueled by three goals from Baxter, but the second-half spurt from CMS was a team effort. The Athenas scored six of the first seven goals of the second-half and it was five different Athenas that registered tallies during the stretch. Amelia Ayala was the lone Athena to score multiple goals during the run, tallying a goal in both the third and fourth periods.

With two victories on Thursday, CMS moves to 9-5 overall and 3-1 in the SCIAC. The Athenas will next be in action on Saturday when they travel to Redlands to take on the Bulldogs at 11:00 a.m. and the Macalester Scots at 2:00 p.m.