Pacific Splits Pair of Matches In Season Opener

photo by Wayne Tilcock
photo by Wayne Tilcock

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Opening up the 2018 season, the Pacific women's water polo team split a pair of matches Saturday with a 19-4 loss to China and 21-7 win versus Cal State East Bay at the Lou Tully Memorial Invitational. Sophomores Kyra Christmas and Mariana Duarte led the way for the Tigers combining for 17 goals in their exhibition matches.

The Orange and Black started strong out the gate in their match against China as Duarte scored within the first minute of play tallying the Tiger's first goal with 7:41 to go for a 1-0 lead. Following a score by China's Xiao Chen, Alexis Hollinrake stole a pass leading to an offensive attack for Kyra Christmas and a 2-1 advantage for Pacific.

The Tigers however would not lead following this break. China assembled a 3-0 run to close out the first period and carried the momentum over in the second. Pacific was shut out while China scored three consecutive goals to make the score 7-2 at the half.

The Tigers fought back in the third as Duarte caught a pass from freshman Kamryn Lucero for a 12-3 score but it wasn't enough as Deng Zewen and Mei Xiaohan each scored two goals helping extend China's lead to 13-3 at the end of the period.

In the fourth, Christmas scored Pacific's final goal with 4:56 to go off an assist by Viktoria Tamas. The sophomore attacker recorded 14 of the Tigers' 33 shots to go along with three steals.

Pacific turned things around in it's exhibition against Cal State East Bay opening up a 6-0 charge on the Pioneers led by Christmas. Christmas scored or assisted on five of the Tigers' six first period goals including a power play to sophomore Rachel Krieger to put the Orange and Black up 4-0 with 2:55 to play.

Pacific kept up the pace in the second period as Mariana Duarte stole a pass in the 5th minute and finished on the other end to put her team up 8-1. Duarte racked up five steals in this exhibition, two of them recorded in the second period.

Finishing the half on a 3-1 run, the Orange and Black held on to an 11-2 advantage heading into halftime.

In the third, the Tigers picked up right where they left off as Duarte scored on subsequent power play possessions to swell the lead to 13-2. Viktoria Szmodics also tallied her first goal on the season off an assist by Duarte with 5:08 to go to helping maintain a comfortable lead.

Pacific outshot the Pioneers 14-4 in the third period to go along with four turnovers. The Tigers also finished 6-9 power plays and shot an even .500 from the field for the game.

Pacific travels to Michigan on Saturday, January 27th to compete in the Michigan Invitational against Hartwick College. The match is set for 7:45 A.M.