BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Southern Division Rookie of the Year Kate Woods (Fr., La Jolla, Calif./La Jolla) buried four feeds to earn Player of the Game accolades in leadin Brown University to an 11-8 victory over Gannon University in the opening game of the 2011 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Women's Eastern Championship at Indiana University's Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. Brown, which can finish no higher than ninth in the 11 team format, will next be in action at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 1 in the final game of the Bears round-robin consolation bracket with Mercyhurst College and Gannon. The team with the best record among the three will finish ninth, while the next two will finish 10th and 11th to comprise the final portion of the tournament's standings.
Gannon will complete its trip to Bloomington for the Eastern Championship this evening at 6:40 p.m. as the Golden Knights will seek to turn the tide and stop the Mercyhurst Lakers to pick up their first win at the Eastern Championship since 2004. Overall, Gannon has never placed better than 11th in the Eastern Championship a mark achieved in 2003 when the Golden Knights handled then league member Villanova University 8-3 in the 11th place contest.
Joanna Wohlmuth (Sr., Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) opened the scoring in the contest for Brown with 24 ticks off the first period clock, but Colleen Harriger (Jr., Erie, Pa./McDowell) and Molly Andrews (Jr., Tustin, Calif./Tustin) responded for the Knights with back-to-back natutral tallies at 7:14 and 6:32, respectively, to hand Gannon a 2-1 lead through less than two minutes of play.
The scoring pace significantly slowed for the remainder of the period until Harriger ripped in a five-meter penalty shot at 3:10 to push the margin out to 3-1. However, the Bears erased half the lead with a flick of the wrist with 47 seconds remaining in the period as Woods tossed in a man-up marker to return it to a one-goal game at 3-2.
Both teams found the back of the cage in the second period only once as Gannon carried a 4-3 lead into intermission.
Katelyn Jacobs (Fr., Brookfield, Ill./Lyons Township) helped the Golden Knights work the ball around the perimeter before accepting a pass and spinning the ball into the cage with 6:40 on the second period clock to provide a 4-2 lead to Gannon. Wohlmuth repeated the Bears pattern of eradicating Gannon's efforts to expand the lead to more than a goal as she lined a shot to the twine with 16 seconds left in the half to reset the scoreboard to 4-3 in favor the Knights.
The third period reversed the pattern as Woods scored following an exclusion at 6:00 to tie the game, but Andrews tacked on her second goal of an eventual hat-trick at 5:44 to return the lead to the Golden Knights.
Gannon's revitalized lead lasted for 14 seconds before Katherine Statnton (Sr., Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) dented the netting with a blast at the 5:30 mark to equal the damage at 5-5.
The goal ignited the Bears' offense as Woods recorded a man-up goal and a natural score at 1:18 and 55 seconds to make it 7-5 after three periods of play.
Emily McNamara (Fr., Winters, Calif./St. Francis) added to the lead and closed out the Bears four-goal outburst with a man-up marker 10 seconds into the fourth period to make it 8-5 with 7:50 remaining on the game clock.
Gannon attempted to chip away at the deficit as Harriger propeled in a man-up goal at 5:24, but Rita Bullwinkel (Sr., Portola Valley, Calif./Menlo-Atherton) tacked on a man-up score at 5:00 and Stanton unloaded a natural goal at 2:12 to construct a 10-6 Brown lead.
Needing a dramatic comeback to pull even and force overtime, Gannon turned to Harriger and Andrews who completed hat-tricks with a natural goal (1:59) and a man-up tally (1:05) to slice the deficit to 10-8.
Brown's defense then stiffened over the final 65 seconds of play to keep the Golden Knights at bay, while Woods broke loose with for a man-up tally with 39 seconds to go for her fifth score of the afternoon and the 11-8 final score.
Between the pipes, Sarah Shin (Fr., Fullerton, Calif./Sunny Hills) faced nine shots on goal with one save to take the victory for Brown, while Janelle Bartman (So., Darien, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) posted eight saves for Gannon.