PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown women's water polo team (16-20, 5-3 CWPA Southern) produced a solid performance in the first two games of the 2013 CWPA Eastern Championships on Friday. The three-day competition, held this year at the University of Michigan's Canham Natatorium, features 11 of the league's Division I/II members and the Division III champion battling for the championship crown and an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships.
The Bears defeated the Connecticut College Camels, 17-6, in the first game of the day before falling to the #18 Michigan Wolverines, 11-7, in the quarterfinals. Brown will now advance to the semifinals on Saturday, playing the Bucknell Bison for a spot in the fifth place game.
Brown 17 – Connecticut College 6
Pepper 4, Zak 2, Presant 2, Booher 2, Santiago 2, Klein 2, Drebin 1, Storman 1, Presant 1, Pierotti 1, Dodd 1
B: 5 - 3 - 4 - 5 = 17
C: 1 - 2 - 0 - 3 = 6
In the first game of the Championships, Brown jumped out to a commanding 5-1 lead over Connecticut College in the first quarter, as sophomore Madison Pepper (Baytown, TX) scored a hat trick, including a goal just 14 seconds into the game, to spark the Bears' offense. Freshman Olivia Santiago (Los Altos, CA) and sophomore Emily Klein (Pleasanton, CA) also found the back of the net in the opening eight minutes, putting the Bears comfortably in control of the game.
After senior Katharine Booher (Palo Alto, CA) opened the second stanza with a goal, the squads traded tallies leading up to the buzzer, with Brown notching two more to increase its lead to 8-3 with 16 minutes left to play.
The second half was all Brown however, with the Bears scoring on nine different occasions and holding the Camels scoreless in the third to earn the 17-6 win. Pepper, Santiago and junior Malaika Drebin (Palo Alto, CA) all notched even-strength goals in the third, while junior Sarah Presant (Poway, CA) added the team's third man-up goal. Sophomore Rebecca Zak (Carlsbad, CA found the back of the net twice in the span of a minute in the fourth, allowing Klein, freshman Emma Dodd (Pasadena, CA) and senior Kayla Stormont (Hilo, Hawaii) to cap off the 17-6 win for the Bears.
Pepper led the Brown offense with four goals, while Zak, Booher, Santiago and Klen each netted found the back of the net twice in the contest. The offense was particularly strong on the power play, going 4-for-5 over the course of the afternoon, while junior Sarah Shin (Fullerton, CA) protected the net for the Bears, making four saves.
Brown 7 - #18 Michigan 11
Presant 2, Rosen 2, Pepper 1, McNamara 1, Santiago 1
B: 2 - 3 - 2 - 0 = 11
M: 6 - 2 - 2 - 1 = 7
In the Bears' semifinal game, #18 Michigan jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Brown could break down their defense. Sophomore Liz Rosen (San Anselmo, CA) and Presant each knocked one in with a minute to go in the first, narrowing the Wolverines lead to 6-2 and setting the Bears up for a strong second stanza.
Brown outscored Michigan in the second, as Pepper, Present and Santiago each found the back of the net to narrow the score to 8-5 as the teams headed into halftime.
The teams exchanged goals in the third, with junior Emily McNamara (Winter, CA) tallying a power play goal and Rosen using a point blank blast to pull the Bears within 10-7 entering the final eight minutes of play.
In the end, the Wolverines' early advantage proved to be too much for the Bears, as the home team triumphed over the visitors, 11-7, in the hotly-contested game.
Present and Rosen led Brown in its second match-up of the day, scoring two goals each, while Shin made four saves in the cage.
Brown returns to the pool on Saturday afternoon to play Bucknell in the Eastern Championship semifinals. Action is set to begin at 3:00pm.