By Scott Padula
The women’s water polo team improved its record to 9-8 by winning four out of seven games in its spring break trip to California. Through her strong, consistent play, Kandis Canonica ’11 became the player with the highest total points (360) in Bison history.
The Orange and Blue opened the trip on the right foot, defeating Concordia and La Verne. They lost three of their next four games, at the hands of Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. The Bison wrapped up the week by bouncing back and defeating a resilient Cal State San Bernardino team.
The first game of the trip proved to be the most exciting as the Orange and Blue scored with less than a minute left to win the game. For the first three quarters, the game remained close. To open the fourth, Concordia scored three straight goals and tied the score at 11. The Bison answered by drawing an ejection with 48 seconds remaining. After calling a timeout, Mackenzie Ferry ’14 found Canonica for the go-ahead goal. The Orange and Blue held on to win the game 12-11. Canonica finished the game with two goals and two assists, sending her career point total to 360 and catapulting her past Aubrey Rowe for the program record.
In the night cap, the Bison defeated La Verne 15-5. The Orange and Blue dominated the Leos early and often, finding the back of the net 12 times in the first three quarters. The Bison also dominated on the defensive end, racking up a total of 13 steals. Ferry and Hallie Kennan ’12 each tallied four steals in the clinic.
“I think we definitely improved throughout our games during the week,” Kennan said. “We have become a much stronger force defensively. Our next goal, however, is to become more confident and active on the offensive end so that we can be a strong team all around.”
Over three of the next four games, the Orange and Blue fell to nationally ranked powerhouses Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara. The Bison were only able to defeat Marist 13-11 in this five-day span.
The Bison rounded out the week defeating Cal State San Bernardino 10-7. The teams remained close throughout as the Orange and Blue could not manage to pull away. The Bison were eventually able to hold on and clinch the victory thanks in part to stellar team defense. Seven different Bison registered a steal in the affair, and solid goal-tending from Brittany Connell ’12 and Rena Heim ’14 only helped the cause. The victory set the Bison record to 9-8 on the season.
The Orange and Blue’s next test will be on April 2 when they face nationally ranked foes Princeton and Michigan.