Grove City College Stops Wheaton College 7-1 to Return to 2011 CWPA Division III Eastern Title Game
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- No. 2 seed Grove City College took full advantage of its offensive opportunities and relied heavily on the stellar defense of goalie and Player of the Game Amanda Johnston (So., San Luis Obispo, Calif./San Luis Obispo) to cruise past No. 3 seed Wheaton College 7-1 in the first semi-final game of the 2011 Women's Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Eastern Championship at Macalester College's Leonard Natatorium.
Chelsea Johnson (Jr., Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) started the scoring for the Wolverines as she netted the lone goal of the first quarter. Johnson went on to score two additional points later in the second period to take over the scoring lead in the tournament with seven goals.
Teammate Andrea Wilson (Jr., Newberg, Ore./Veritas School) struck twice in the second quarter to raise her total to five points in the squad's first two games of the tournament. Currently tied with Brittany LaPalme (Sr., Hollywood, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) as the Wolverine's second highest point recipient in 2011 league championship play, LaPalme reached her fifth goal of the tournament in the third quarter.
Trailing 5-0 at halftime, the Thunder finally struck at the 3:16 mark of the third period as Heather Crockett (Jr., San Mateo, Calif./Aragon) uncorked a long shot from outside the eight-meter marker which sailed by Johnston to break-up Grove City's shutout bid.
The goal marked the sole ball of the day to elude the Wolverines' defense as Johnston finished with 11 saves in the contest and 20 to date in the tournament.
Due to the victory, Grove City earns the right to defend its 2010 CWPA Division III Eastern title as the Wolverines will clash with Western Pennsylvania arch-nemesis Washington & Jefferson College at 2:45 on Saturday, April 30 in the 2011 title tilt. W&J advanced to its first-ever Divsion III title game with a 6-3 win over tournament host Macalester following the Grove City-Wheaton game.
The win improves Grove City to 24-1 in CWPA Division III competition over the past two seasons, including an 8-7 comeback victory versus Carthage College in the 2010 title game, as the Wolverines will have a chance to move to 6-0 all-time in the division's championship history following a 3-0 mark in 2010.
For Wheaton, the tournament will continue at 11:50 a.m. on April 30 against Utica College in the third place game for another year after downing the Presidents of W&J at the 2010 tournament hosted by the Pioneers.
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Grove City Goals: Chelsea Johnson (3); Andrea Wilson (2); Amy Fleming; Brittany LaPalme
Wheaton Goals: Heather Crokett
Saves: Grove City - Amanda Johnston (11) ; Wheaton - Karalee Angus (4)
Exclusions: Grove City - 3; Wheaton - 2
Advantage Opportunities: Grove City - 1-for-2; Wheaton - 0-for-3
Sprints: Grove City - 3-for-4 ; Wheaton - 1-for-4
Officials: Andy Mattson, JR Vanderwall