Bucknell Defeats Brown in First Game of Eastern Championships

Bucknell Defeats Brown in First Game of Eastern Championships

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Kandis Canonica (Sr., Burlingame, Calif./St. Ignatius) pumped in two goals in the fourth period to complete a hat-trick and earn Player of the Game honors as Bucknell University posted eight second half goals to overpower Brown University 16-11 in the opening round of the 2011 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Women's Eastern Championship at Indiana University's Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. Leading 10-9 entering the fourth period, the Bison stampeded out to a 15-9 margin with five consecutive strikes to stun the Bears and build a margin Brown was unable to overcome.

The run started with 6:52 left in the period as Canonica uncorked a rising shot which eluded Brown netminder Sarah Shin (Fr., Fullerton, Calif./Sunny Hills) to make it a two-goal game. The blast broke the seal on a Bison offensive run as Krystle Morgan (So., Rowland Heights, Calif./Rosary) completed a hat-trick of her own at 5:25 with a natural goal and Stephanie Ovalle (Fr., Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) found the back of the cage with a rocket of her own at 4:22 to push Bucknell out to a 13-9 advantage.

Following a yellow card to Brown head coach Felix Mercado, the Bison went back to work with man-up tallies by Heather Smith (Fr., Redwood City, Calif./Sacred Heart Prep) and Julianne Valdes (Fr., Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) at 3:38 and 2:51, respectively, to set the score at 15-9.

Brown responded to the Bison barrage at 2:32 with a man-up marker by Samantha Ryu (Jr., Santa Barbara, Calif./Cate School) to move to within five strikes, but Canonica terminated any hopes of a miracle finish with her third goal of the day and second of the period at 2:19 to return the margin to six at 16-10.

The Bears closed out the artillery blasts from the field with the fourth goal of the day by Joanna Wohlmuth (Sr., Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) to set the final score.

Neither team could take command of the contest in the early going as Bucknell ran out to a 4-1 lead in the first period before seeing the margin melt down to 5-3 by the end of the period.

The back-and-forth scoring continued through most of the second period with the Bison pushing the margin to 7-4 midway through before Brown cutting it down to 8-6 by halftime.

Bucknell pushed the lead to 9-6 to open the third period when Valdes collected a pass and buried the feed at 5:44, but the Bears came out of their slumber with a natural goal by Wohlmuth (3:43), along with man-up and five-meter (2:16) tallies by Kate Woods (Fr., La Jolla, Calif./La Jolla) to tie the game at nine-all.

However, Bucknell regained the lead before time expired in the period when Hallie Keenan (Jr., Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) zipped a shot into the cage at 1:10 to put the Bison in front and set-up the high-powered fourth period.

For Bucknell, Brittany Connell (Jr., Montebello, Calif./Montebello) finished with eight saves to earn the victory. Shin turned away six shots for Brown in taking the loss.

Bucknell advances to a 6:00 p.m. showdown with No. 12-nationally ranked Hartwick College at 6:00 p.m. tonight with a berth in the tournament semifinals on the line. Brown advances to face Gannon University, the loser of a first round game against Harvard University, at noon on Saturday, April 30.

Brown Goals: Joanna Wohlmuth (4); Kate Woods (4); Katherine Stanton; Samantha Ryu; Emily McNamara

Bucknell Goals: Kandis Canonica (3); Heather Smith (3); Krystle Morgan (3); Julianne Valdes (2); Hallie Kennan (2); Mackenzie Ferry; Stephanie Ovalle (2)

Saves: Brown - Sarah Shin (6) ; Bucknell - Brittany Connell (8)

Exclusions: Brown - 6 ; Bucknell - 14

Advantage Opportunities: Brown - 5-for-14 ; Bucknell - 4-for-6

Sprints: Brown - 3-for-4 ; Bucknell - 1-for-4

---Article courtesy of the CWPA