ST. PAUL, Minn. --
In potentially the biggest upset in National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) water polo this year, No. 9 seed and Collegiate
Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Easern Championship
tournament host Macalester College saved its biggest shock of the
season for No. 1 seed and No. 8-nationally ranked Carthage College
with a 11-10 victory over the heavily favored Lady
Macalester, which finished last in the nine-team CWPA Divsiion III regular season with a 1-9 mark in conference play, avenged a 13-5 loss to Carthage on March 18 at neutral site Pennsylvania State University-Behrend.
Player of the Game Katie Eulau (Fr., Saratoga, Calif./Castilleja) continued her scoring dominance with eight goals, including the game-winning penalty shot with 25 seconds remaining in the contest, to up her tournament best scoring total to 13 goals in two games.
The match started as a seesaw battle with the teams exchanging goals in the first quarter. Macalester posted three points thanks to a pair from Rachel Harrington-Abrams (Fr., Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley) and one from Eulau. Carthage netted their two of the quarter by Hillary Veselik (Fr., Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) and Mari Paraskevopoulos (Jr., Mount Prospect, Ill./Arlington Heights-Hersey) to complete the first eight minutes of the competition.
The Scots developed some breathing room going into the half after doubling the Lady Reds score 6-3. All three goals for the home team came from Eulau, while the lone goal for the Lady Reds came off the hand of Kimmy Genian (Sr., Gurnee, Ill./Highland Park).
Carthage took advantage of a third quarter rally that had them outscoring Macalester 3-2 and pulling within two points entering the last period of the game. Genian, Veselik and Paraskevopoulos combined to net the three goals for the Lady Reds, while Eulau and Jillian Benson (Sr., Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) placed two in the back of the cage for the Scots.
The energy of the game reached a high point during the fourth quarter as the teams traded goals into the final moments of the match.
Genian drew the Scots even with Carthage as she tossed in a pair of markers to begin the fourth period and make the score 8-8.
Nearly half the period later with 4:36 glowing on the scoreboard, the Lady Reds claimed their first lead of the contest at 9-8 as Veselik registered her third goal of the contest to wrap-up a hat-trick.
However, Eulau refused to allow the Scots to fall too far behind as she took command of the offense and burined every goal in the final period for the tournament host.
Tied at 9-9 with overtime looming on the horizon, Eualu converted on the ensuing penalty shot with 25 ticks left on the clock after drawing an exclusion against the Lady Reds for a pull back during a clear scoring advantage.
Her successful shot was all the Scots needed as Macalester's defense stiffened to stiffle a response by Carthage and advance to a date with Washington & Jefferson College in the second semi-final game later this evening at 7:30 p.m.
Carthage, which had hopes of the program's first conference title after falling to Grove City in the 2011 title tilt, will need to prepare for a game later this evening versus Chatham University at 9:00 p.m.
If the Lady Reds can down the Cougars, Carthage will earn a berth in the fifth place contest at 10:25 a.m. on Saturday, April 30.
Macalester Goals: Katie Eulau (8); Rachel Harrington-Abrams (2); Jillian Benson
Carthage Goals: Kimmy Genian (5); Hillary Veselik (3); Mari Paraskevopoulos (2)
Saves: Macalester - Chloe Kaulus (12) ; Carthage - Christine Menzenberger (8)
Exclusions: Macalester - 7; Carthage - 4
Advantage Opportunities: Macalester - 1-for-4 ; Carthage - 2-for-7
Sprints: Macalester - 1-for-4 ; Carthage - 3-for-4
Officials: Andy Mattson, JR Vanderwall