April 25, 2008

#20 Bears Fall to #14 Hartwick, 15-8, in Easterns Opening Round

April 25, 2008

Ann Arbor, MI - Despite four goals from senior Alexis Blaxberg (Pinecrest, FL), the #20 Brown women's water polo team (14-15) dropped its opening game of the 2008 Eastern Championships to #14 Hartwick (27-10), 15-8, on Friday at the University of Michigan. With the score 3-2 in the first quarter, the Hawks went on a 7-0 run to go up by eight and take control of the contest for good.

The Hawks, the tournament's second seed, took a quick 2-0 lead on the seventh-seeded Bears in the first two minutes of the contest. Sophomore Lauren Presant (Poway, CA) buried a penalty shot at 4:55 to put the Bears on the board, and the teams traded goals, with a shot by freshman Joanna Wohlmuth (Manhattan Beach, CA) making it 3-2 at 3:08 in the first.

However, the Bears did not score again until there was 1:22 left in the half, with Blaxberg ending a 7-0 Hartwick run to make the halftime score 10-3. After Hartwick again got two quick goals, this time in the opening 1:12 of the second half, the Bears made a run, as sophomore Sarah Glick (Bonita, CA) and Blaxberg each scored consecutive goals to make it 12-7. However, that would be as close as it got, with the Hawks scoring three of the last four goals.

Brown sophomore Stephanie Laing (Ann Arbor, MI) made eight saves in front of her hometown crowd in the loss. Hartwick's Kirsten Hudson scored six goals to earn Player of the Game honors, while goalie Jessica Dorman made nine saves to get the win.

The Bears were seeded seventh in the tournament on Monday, behind unranked Bucknell and Maryland, who they had defeated in consecutive games on April 5. Brown had lost twice to Maryland early in the year, but that game was their only contest with Bucknell. The most recent CWPA Top 20 Poll had the Bears tied with the tournament's fifth seed, Princeton.

On Saturday, the Bears will square off with #17 Indiana, the tournament's third seed. The Hoosiers lost to Maryland in the lone first-round upset, 13-11. Game time is at 5 p.m. On Friday night, the All-Division Teams will be announced at the CWPA Eastern Championship Banquet.