Women's Water Polo Posts Two Wins In Michigan

Gracie Smith - Photo by Mari Jo Prlain
Gracie Smith - Photo by Mari Jo Prlain

Ann Arbor, Mich. - The Pacific women's water polo team posted a pair of wins in three games at the Wolverine Invitational Saturday with a 12-4 win over Siena, a 16-4 win over Gannon and an overtime loss to No. 18 Michigan, 7-6.

Gracie Smith scored 10 goals on the day while Rebecca Wright and Brydie Pye each added five. Taylor Adair, Kelsey Carter and Catie Mahnke each scored three times.

With the 2-1 day, Pacific's record improves to 7-11 on the season.

Smith scored four goals in a 12-4 win over Siena (4-9) in the opener. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-1 first quarter lead against Siena. Goals by Smith, Pye, Adair, Mahnke put Pacific up for before the Saints tallied their first goal. Chelsea Weir closed out the quarter and Pacific and Siena each posted second quarter goals. Smith scored the Tigers lone goal of the period while Siena's Stephanie Bundas' second goal of the game brought the Saints within 6-2.

Smith completed the hat-trick in the third quarter, while Pye found the back of the net again. A pair of fourth-quarter goals from Kelsey Carter and a Rebecca Wright goal rounded out the Tigers' scoring.

Meghan Nee recorded 10 saves in goal for Pacific.

In the second game of the day, Pacific once again jumped out early. Wright, Malena Prlain, Noelle Mann and Adair gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead after the first quarter. Pacific exploded for seven goals in the second quarter, as Smith and Wright each scored twice, Prlain added another, Pye and Mahnke also tallied for an 11-0 lead at the break.

Megan Torre and Mahnke scored in the third to stretch the lead to 13-0 before Janelle McDaniels put Gannon on the board. Carter, Smith and Adair closed out the Tigers scoring.

Nee added another 10 saves to drop Gannon to 6-7 on the season.

The Tigers went for the Saturday sweep and an upset of the host Wolverines. Michigan tallied first as Heidi Moreland finished a rebound midway through the first. Jamie Nolan put the Wolverines up two midway through the second, but Wright's skip shot beat goalkeeper Emily Browning to put Pacific on the scoreboard before halftime.

The Wolverines stretched the lead to 3-1 in the third, as Presley Pender scored on a 2-on-1 in transition. Smith pulled the Tigers within one with a backhand shot late in the third quarter, and Nee posted a pair of saves early in the fourth to keep Pacific down just a goal.

Smith's second backhand goal from the two-meter tied the game at 3-3 with seven minutes left. Nee and Browning traded stops, before the Wolverines took a late 4-3 lead on a crossing shot by Elizabeth Williams with two minutes to play.

Pye drew the Tigers even on a 6-on-5, finishing from outside with 1:20 to go. But with 19 seconds to play, Williams tallied again, finishing to the upper right corner for a 5-4 lead.  

Smith's third-goal of the game came with four seconds left to force overtime. Pender tallied for a 6-5 Michigan lead in the first of two three-minute overtimes. Williams struck again for a two-goal lead on the Wolverines' next possession.

Pye answered to close the gap to 7-6 in the second extra session with 1:05 left. After a defensive stop gave Pacific the ball back with 36 seconds left, the Wolverines posted a steal on the Tigers' final possession to hold on.

Michigan improved to 13-10 on the season with a 3-0 day.

On Sunday, Pacific hits the pool at 6:30 a.m. (PT) for a tilt with Mercyhurst, and then an 11 a.m. contest with Notre Dame College.