Early Lead Propels Athenas Past Tigers on the Road

Amelia Ayala shoots against Carthage.
Amelia Ayala led the Athenas on Wednesday with three goals against Occidental.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team breezed past the Occidental College Tigers in a midweek matchup on Wednesday, earning their 16th victory of the season by a score of 9-1. The Athenas scored seven times in the first half as part of an 8-0 run. They held the Tigers to one goal in the contest.

Amelia Ayala (CMC) led CMS with a trio of goals and Anna Fry (HMC) scored twice. Chandlyr Denaro (CMC) made nine saves and allowed just one goal.

The Athenas scored early and often, starting two and a half minutes into the opening period when Ayala found Fry for the first point of the game.  With three minutes to play in the quarter, Kaitlyn Eng (HMC) assisted Ayala on her first goal of the game to stretch the lead to 2-0. Ayala went back-to-back, scoring again 45 seconds later, this time assisted by Christine Hu (CMC). At the end of the first quarter, CMS led 3-0.

Picking up right where they left off, the Athenas scored two goals within a 30 second span in the first two minutes of the second period. Ayala completed her hat trick with an assist from Fry at the 6:33 mark before Haley Gibbs (SC) utilized an assist from Jessica Gaffney (CMC) to put the Athenas up 5-0. With 3:34 to play in the quarter, Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) found the back of the net to push the advantage further and Claire Baxter (CMC) closed out the first half with a goal using an assist from Margo Lusinchi (SC), giving CMS a 7-0 cushion at halftime.

The Athenas slowed a bit in the second half, scoring one goal in each quarter. Fry had the lone CMS goal in the third, scoring just under a minute into play. Oxy scored their first and only goal of the game as the third period came to a close. Lori Berberian snuck a shot past Denaro with under a minute remaining and the Athenas carried an 8-1 lead into the final frame.

Occidental's defense held CMS off the board for most of the fourth until Katharine Larsen (HMC) broke through with 1:39 to play in the contest, capping the scoring with CMS in front 9-1.

As mentioned, Ayala led the offense with three goals in the game. In total, six different Athenas scored in the contest. Denaro had a strong night in goal stopping nine of 10 shots faced.

With the win, the Athenas improve to 16-9 overall and 9-3 in SCIAC play. CMS sits in third in the SCIAC standings with two games remaining. They host their final home game of the season on Saturday against Redlands. The contest is slated for 11 a.m. in Axelrood Pool.