George Washington University Splits with Harvard University & Mercyhurst University to Clinch No. 5 Seed for Southern Division Championship
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- George Washington University split a pair of games against Southern Division rivals Harvard University and Mercyhurst University at the Charles E. Smith Center Pool. The Colonials dropped an 18-12 decision to the Crimson before knocking off the Lakers, 13-7, to clinch the No. 5 seed for the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Championship on April 14-15 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa.
Prior to the final game of the day, GW seniors Megan Walker and Monica Hanson were honored in a Senior Day ceremony.
Walker led the Colonials (8-10) with 11 points on the day, as she tallied five goals and six assists while adding five steals, three ejections drawn and two penalties drawn. Sophomore Rachael Bentley scored a team-high seven goals to go along with three assists for 10 points, and sophomore Katherine Berry finished with eight points on six goals and two helpers.
GW took a quick 1-0 lead over Harvard, as freshman Meagan Moreland found the back of the net after just 22 seconds of action. But the Crimson (12-9) responded with five straight to take a 5-1 lead before the Colonials tallied a pair of goals in the final 34 seconds of the first quarter.
The teams traded goals early in the second before Harvard began to pull away with a 5-2 run to end the half for an 11-6 lead at the break. The Crimson continued its spurt with the first two goals of the third quarter before the Colonials rallied for four straight, including two by Walker, to pull within three, 13-10.
But the fourth quarter was all Harvard, as the Crimson outscored the Colonials, 5-2, in the period. HU led 15-12 with 5:41 on the clock before back-to-back goals by Berry and Walker, but Harvard scored the final three tallies for the 18-12 win.
Berry led the Colonials with six points on four goals and two assists, while Bentley and Walker each notched hat tricks. Walker added two assists for five points, as well as two steals and two penalties drawn, and Bentley also recorded an assist and a steal.
Freshman goalie Chandler Vilander made six saves, while Ariel Dukes stopped six shots for the Crimson. Harvard was led offensively by Aisha Price, Lizzie Abbott and Devan Kennifer, who each tallied four goals.
In GW's second game of the day, Mercyhurst (7-14) took an early 2-1 lead, but Walker and Bentley tallied back-to-back goals to give the Colonials a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, and the hosts never looked back, leading 5-3 at halftime.
The Lakers pulled within one, 6-5, early in the third quarter, but GW pulled away with four of the final five goals of the period, including two by Berry, to take a 10-6 advantage. The Colonials tacked on three more in the fourth while holding Mercyhurst to just one for the 13-7 win.
Bentley (4g, 2a) and Walker (2g, 4a) each tallied six points to pace GW, and Walker added three steals and three ejections drawn.
Vilander recorded 12 saves in the cage, while Mercyhurst keeper Hope Rozelle stopped eight shots for the visitors. The Lakers were led offensively by Allie Grimes' hat trick.
The victory improved the Colonials to 1-4 in the Southern Division, while Mercyhurst fell to 0-5, in the final division regular season game of the season. George Washington and Mercyhurst will join top seed Princeton University, No. 2 seed Harvard, No. 3 seed Brown University and No. 4 seed Bucknell at the Southern Division Championship on April 14-15 at Bucknell to determine the division champion and help set one half of the field for the 2012 CWPA Eastern Championship on April 27-29 at Brown in Providence, R.I.
Release courtesy George Washington Athletic Communications