BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- George Washington University goalie Charlotte Schou (Sr., Miami, Fla./Miami Country Day) made seven saves, including four in the second half, to earn Player of the Game accolades as the Colonials held on for an 8-7 win over Mercyhurst College in the opening game of the 2011 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Women's Eastern Championship at Indiana University.
Leading 8-4 with 5:54 remaining in the fourth period, the Colonials had to stiffle a Lakers comeback bid in the closing minutes to take the win and advance to a 4:30 p.m. meeting with No. 6-nationally ranked and tournament top seed the University of Michigan.
Mercyhurst began to cut into the apparently insurmountable margin with 4:09 on the clock as Laura Perez (Jr., Chicago, Ill./Mother McAuley) beat Schou with a man-up goal to move the Lakers within a hat-trick of knotting the score and forcing overtime.
The comeback try continued at 2:17 with a natural goal from the hand of Nicole Nelson (Sr., Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) to cut the deficit to a pair of markers, before Lisett Calderon (So., Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) sliced through the GW defense for a strike with 16 ticks remaining on the clock to set the score at 8-7.
Needing a defensive stand to hold the ball for the final ticks on the scoreboard, the Colonials turned to Schou and the rest of the backfield to burn the clock and the Lakers for the one-goal victory.
The Colonials did not appear to be an obvious winner in the opening period as Mercyhurst used a pair of five-meter penalty shots at 6:26 and 3:33, along with an even-strength strike, all by Rachel Griepsma (Sr., Lindsday, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) to take a 3-0 lead.
George Washington cracked the scoring column with 32 seconds remaining in the period as Rachael Bentley (Fr., Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) accepted a pass and buried the feed past Lakers' netmidner Hope Rozelle (Jr., San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) to make it a 3-1 game through eight minutes of action.
Mercyhurst's lead evaporated less than five minutes into the second period as Megan Walker (Jr., San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) rifled home shots at 6:54 and 3:18 to knot the game at three-all.
GW took the lead for all of 15 seconds as Katherine Berry (Fr., Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) picked a ball out of the air and whipped in a man-up goal at 1:12, but the Lakers responded with 57 seconds left in the opening half with a strike by Calderon to send the teams to the side of the tank tied at four-all.
The third period saw significant swimming, but little scoring as a marker by Erin Delker (Sr., Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) with 2:24 remaining in the frame staked George Washington to the lead for good.
In the final period, the Colonials continued to score to build a four goal lead as Walker fired in a shot at 7:39 and Adina Zepfel (Fr., Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar) converted on a man-up chance at 6:34 to make it a 7-4 game. Bentley closed out the damage infliction witht the eventual game-winner at 5:54 as the GW offense powered down, and the Mercyhurst comeback try ignited to make it a one-goal contest before the final horn sounded in Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
For the Lakers, Griepsma led the way with a hat-trick, while Rozelle turned aside a game-high eight shots, as Mercyhurst will next be in action at 6:40 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 versus the loser of a first round contest featuring Harvard University and Gannon University.
|George Washington University||1||3||1||3||--||8|
GW Goals: Megan
Walker (3); Rachael Bentley (2); Erin Delker; Katherine Berry;
Mercyhurst Goals: Rachel Griepsma (3); Lisett Calderon (2); Nicole Nelson; Laura Perez
Saves: GW - Charlotte Schou (7) ; Mercyhurst - Hope Rozelle (8)
Exclusions: GW - 15 ; Mercyhurst - 6
Advantage Opportunities: GW - 2-for-6 ; Mercyhurst - 3-for-15
Sprints: GW - 4-for-4 ; Mercyhurst - 0-for-4
Officials: Alex Stankevitch, Eddie Ajuz
Mercyhurst's Alyssa Katerberg passes past GW's Monica Hanson