April 29, 2007
Princeton, NJ - The Brown women's water polo team (23-10) held off a late comeback by Maryland to win the fifth-place game at the Eastern Championships, 10-9. Senior Elizabeth Balassone (Los Altos, CA) led the Bears with a hat trick in her final collegiate game. The fifth-place finish is the Bears' best since 2004, when they finished fourth. Balassone, who had eight goals in the three games, was named First Team All-Tournament, while senior two-meter defender Caitlin Fahey (Bellevue, WA) was named to the Second Team.
Brown jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first quarter, thanks to goals by senior Paige Lansing (Newport Beach, CA), freshman Lauren Presant (Poway, CA), Balassone and sophomore Rory Stanton (Danville, CA). The lead remained at two goals after the second quarter, when goals from Balassone, Lansing, and freshman Sarah Glick (Bonita, CA) matched the Terrapins' three goals.
Balassone scored again to start the second half, and a goal by junior Ally Wyatt (Ypsilanti, MI) stretched the lead to 9-5 with 1:29 remaining in the third. However, Maryland scored three more goals to cut the lead to 9-8 with 6:37 left in the fourth quarter. A goal by junior Alexis Blaxberg (Pinecrest, FL) gave the Bears a cushion and wound up being the game-winner, as Maryland scored with 5:57 remaining to again make it a one-goal game. The Brown defense held strong the rest of the way, and the Bears were able to chew up clock on offense to run out the clock and take the win.
In addition to her goal, Glick had two assists, two steals and three ejections drawn. Balassone, the Player of the Game, drew two ejections. Freshman goalkeeper Stephanie Laing (Ann Arbor, MI) had eight saves in the win.
The Bears, who reached as high as 18th in the national polls despite having no home pool for nearly the entire season, finished the year with a 23-10 mark, a fantastic improvement from the team's 15-18 mark one year ago. Today's game marked the final contest in the careers of the team's four senior captains - Balassone, Fahey, Lansing, and Claire Angyal (Mosman, Australia).