PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown women's water polo team (17-20, 5-3 CWPA Southern) turned in another winning performance at the 2013 CWPA Eastern Championships on Saturday. 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 Bucknell Bison, 12-7, in the semifinals to earn a spot in the fifth place game. Brown will now take on Ivy League and CWPA Southern foe Harvard in a 1:30pm game on Sunday as the team looks to earn the program's first top-five finish since 2008.
Brown 12 – Bucknell 7
Rosen 3, Woods 3, Pepper 2, Presant 2, Santiago 1, McNamara 1
Br: 3 - 3 - 4 - 2 = 12
Bu: 2 - 1 - 3 - 1 = 7
The teams battled back and forth early in the game, with sophomore Liz Rosen (San Anselmo, CA) opening up the scoring and putting Brown on the board just 28 seconds into the first quarter. Bucknell then put in back-to-back man-up tallies before junior Kate Woods (La Jolla, CA) found the back of the net and started a 5-0 scoring run for the Bears. Sophomore Madison Pepper (Baytown, TX) and junior Sarah Presant (Poway, CA) each notched a goal in the opening six minutes to put Brown up, 6-3, at halftime.
The Bears continued to build on their lead in the second half, with Rosen and junior Emily McNamara (Winters, CA) scoring early goals to make it 8-3, but the Bison refused to go down without a fight, coming within three on two different occasions. Brown refused to be denied however, as Presant and freshman Olivia Santiago (Los Altos, CA) sealed the 12-7 win for the Bears with goals in the final minutes of play.
Rosen and Woods led the Brown offense, each registering a hat trick in the game, while Pepper and Presant both contributed a pair of goals. Junior Sarah Shin (Fullerton, CA) guarded the cage, making three saves, including a crucial stop in the fourth quarter.