Women’s Water Polo Tops Mercyhurst, Bucknell to Advance to CWPA Southern Division Finals

Women’s Water Polo Tops Mercyhurst, Bucknell to Advance to CWPA Southern Division Finals

Brown              4  3  4  3  -  14
Mercyhurst      2  0  1  2  -  5
Crowley 3, Koper 2, Presant 2, Woods 2, Klein 1, Pierotti 1, Rosen 1, Santiago 1, Zak 1
Shin 8, Louis 1


Bucknell           3  2  1  3  -  9
Brown              6  4  0  2  -  12
Woods 4, Koper 2, Rosen 2, Crowley 1, Kolokotronis 1, McNamara 1, Santiago 1
Shin 7

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The third-seeded Brown women's water polo team defeated sixth-seeded Mercyhurst, 14-5, and second-seeded Bucknell, 12-9, at Blodgett Pool on Saturday to advance to tomorrow's Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division Championship Game. For the third year in a row, the Bears will take on top-seeded No. 9 Princeton in the finals at 1 p.m.

Live video of the game will be available on the Ivy League Digital Network

Senior Kate Woods (La Jolla, Calif.) scored a combined six goals and corralled eight steals, while freshman Shannon Crowley (Seal Beach, Calif.) totaled four goals over two games, including a hat trick in the first contest. Freshman Hannah Koper (Santa Barbara, Calif.) tallied two goals in each game and handed out six assists, while senior goalie Sarah Shin (Fullerton, Calif.) made eight saves against the Lakers and seven versus the Bison.

The Bears never allowed Mercyhurst to score more than two goals in a single quarter in the morning's first round game and used three unanswered tallies in the first frame to take a lead they would never relinquish. Woods converted a pair of 5-meter shots in opening 1:47 and senior Sarah Presant (Poway, Calif.) and Crowley added goals to give Brown a 4-2 lead after eight minutes.

The Mercyhurst offense was no match for the Bears in the second period as Brown held the opposition scoreless while Presant, Crowley and Koper added strikes for a 7-2 lead at the half. Brown continued to control the contest in the third, scoring four times to the Lakers' one goal for an 11-3 lead. Crowley opened the quarter with back-to-back goals, extending Brown's lead to 9-2 while hitting the four-goal mark for the game. Three more unanswered scores put the Bears ahead 13-4 before the Lakers broke their scoreless streak with 58 seconds to play, but junior Emily Klein (Pleasanton, Calif.) added a final goal to give the Bears a 14-5 win.

Brown used an explosive six-goal first period to get the jump on Bucknell in the afternoon event. With sights set on a trip to the championship game, the Bears did not let up and unleashed four more goals in the second period to reach the 10-goal mark by halftime. Woods tossed in four goals to lead the way, while Crowley dished out four assists and Shin kept the Bison at bay with seven saves.

Senior Emily McNamara (Winters, Calif.) got the offensive showcase going with a goal 45 seconds after the opening sprint and sophomore Olivia Santiago (Los Altos, Calif.) followed to spell a 2-0 lead for the Bears. Bucknell strung together a pair of goals within a minute of each other to tie the game at 2-2, but Brown would use two goals from junior Liz Rosen (San Anselmo, Calif.) to pull ahead 6-3 after one quarter.

The Bears doubled up Bucknell, 4-2, in the second frame, powered by three unmatched goals to open the stanza. Woods and Koper struck for back-to-back tallies in the final 1:08 of the half to move ahead 10-5 midway through the contest.

The Brown attack suddenly ground to a halt in a scoreless third, but defense made up the difference as the Bears held the Bison to a single goal with 19 seconds left in the third to remain in the lead, 10-6. Bucknell scored twice to start off the fourth and pulled with two, 10-8, at the 4:12 mark, but Brown put a stop to the rally and used two goals from Woods to stake out a 12-9 final score.

After facing and falling to Princeton in the CWPA Southern Division Championship Game in 2013 and 2012, the Bears face a familiar foe when the battle the Tigers tomorrow at 1 p.m.