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May 12, 2012

Sagehens Start Fast, But LMU Pulls Away At NCAA Tournament

San Diego, Calif. - Pomona-Pitzer took an early 2-1 lead on two 6-on-5 goals in the first quarter, but Loyola Marymount used stifling defensive pressure to pull away for a 12-2 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday on the second day of the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex.

With the loss, the Sagehens drop to 21-18 on the year and will play in the seventh-place game tomorrow at 12 noon against Iona, which fell 9-5 to Princeton earlier today. Loyola Marymount will face Princeton in the fifth-place game at 1:45 p.m.

Pomona-Pitzer drew a pair of early exclusions and took advantage of the extra-man opportunities with a pair of freshmen finding the net. Sarah Westcott (Menlo Park, Calif.) tied the score 1-1 with a shot from the left side of the net, and Alyssa Woodward (Riverside, Calif. - pictured) gave the Sagehens a 2-1 lead, right as another penalty expired.

Loyola Marymount, leveled the score at 2-2 with a man-up goal of its own, and then kept Pomona-Pitzer out of its offense with defensive pressure all over the pool. The Sagehens were able to stay within 5-2 at the half, but the Lions scored twice early in the third quarter on two quick counter-attacks to take control of the match.

Junior goalie Sarah Tuggy (Los Angeles, Calif.) performed well in a losing cause, tallying seven saves and coming out of net for several steals to help keep the Sagehens in the game for the first half.

Loyola Marymount, though, had two dominant offensive performances as Alexandra Honny scored six goals, and Erin Manke added five, accounting for 11 of their team's 12 tallies. Elisa Ponce had seven saves for the Lions, several from long-range as LMU's defensive pressure often forced the Sagehens to retreat out of their offensive sets. 

Pomona-Pitzer and Iona will face each other for the second time this season tomorrow in the seventh-place game. The tao teams faced each other earlier this season at Haldeman Pool in Claremont, with the Gaels capturing an 8-6 win. Woodward had three goals in that contest for the Sagehens, while sophomore Kerstin Henshall (Moraga, Calif.) added two.

Pomona-Pitzer is making its fourth NCAA appearance in the last six years as an automatic qualifier out of the SCIAC. The Sagehens earned the bid this year with a 12-11 overtime win over Redlands in the SCIAC championship game.