March 15, 2009

Water Polo Goes 2-1, Drops Thriller to #13 Hartwick

March 15, 2009

Providence, RI - The Brown women's water polo team (11-5, 0-1) picked up wins against Colorado College and NYAC, but then dropped a thrilling contest to No. 13 Hartwick on Saturday evening. Junior Lauren Presant (Poway, CA) lit up for 18 goals in three games, as junior goalkeeper Stephanie Laing (Ann Arbor, MI) tallied a game-high 15 saves in Bruno's loss to the Hawks.

The Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first eight minutes of play against Colorado College to cruise to a 13-4 victory. Leading the way was Presant and junior Sarah Glick (Bonita, CA) with three goals apiece, and Katherine Stanton (Danville, CA) and Bethany Kwoka (San Mateo, CA) chipped in with two each. Brown was stellar on the defensive end and was led by sophomore Rita Bullwinkel's (Portola Valley, CA) four steals. Also netting goals was Samantha Ryu (Santa Barbara, CA), sophomore Joanna Wohlmuth (Manhattan Beach, CA) and Laing. Laing played in the net for one quarter and tallied a save, but rookie Misa Scharfen (Santa Rosa, CA) stepped in to play the rest and posted three saves.

The Bears then drove to Oneanta, NY, to play an exhibition game against New York Athletic Club and to also open up league play against No. 13 Hartwick. The Bears started off slow in the first quarter, as NYAC gained a 3-2 lead. But Brown picked it up in the second and third quarters to combine for 11 goals for a 13-8 lead. Both teams scored two goals in the fourth as Brown earned the win, 15-10. Scharfen received her first start of the season and finished with five saves. Presant continued her scoring spree to lead the team with seven goals, followed by Glick with four goals, four assists and five steals. Stanton also added two goals, and Ryu and Wohlumth each tallied a marker in the win.

Against Hartwick, the Hawks took an early 3-0 lead on Brown, but the Bears came back behind the stellar offensive play of Glick and Presant. The teams went goal-for-goal the remainder of the quarter until Presant scored for Brown with 2:06 left and again with 49 ticks remaining to make it a 6-5 game in Hartwicks favor. Presant tallied four of Brown's five goals that quarter, while Glick had the other goal along with three assists.

"I was extremely happy with our play today," said Head Coach Felix Mercado. "Lauren Presant and Sarah Glick were absolutely amazing to watch, but it was truly a team effort all around. Katherine Stanton and Stephanie Laing really played well and allowed our defense to have some key stops in the second and third quarters. In the fourth we just ran out of gas and Hartwick is too good of a team to not play four full quarters of water polo."

The Bears edged the Hawks 3-2 in the second period with Presant lighting up for all three goals for an 8-8 deadlock at the half. Brown gained a 10-8 lead early in the third quarter, as Laing continued to frustrate the Hartwick offense by making big stops throughout the stanza. The Hawks came within one with 3:40 left in the period, and eventually evened it out a minute later to send the game into the final period tied at 10-10.

The Bears were held scoreless in the fourth, as Hartwick tallied the game-winner with 6:53 left on the clock. The Hawks then tallied another just 42 seconds later and finished off the scoring on a breakaway with under two minutes to go to seal the win, 13-10.

Presant finished the game with eight goals as Glick netted two and handed out six assists. Stanton finished the game with one assist and three steals, as Laing did an outstanding job in goal, tallying 15 saves in the loss.

The Bears will now compete in the San Diego Invitational, where they are scheduled to take on Indiana at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20. The Bears then challenge Hawaii and University of California, Berkeley the following day.