California State University East Bay
CSUEB driver Casey Rushforth shoots the ball against a CSUMB defender Saturday at Pioneer Pool.

CSUEB driver Casey Rushforth shoots the ball against a CSUMB defender Saturday at Pioneer Pool.

Photos | Tam Duong Jr.

Photos | Tam Duong Jr.

CSUEB driver Casey Rushforth shoots the ball against a CSUMB defender Saturday at Pioneer Pool.

Water polo loses a close game at home

January 29, 2015

A close game turned into a one-point loss for the Cal State East Bay women’s water polo team on Saturday at Pioneer Pool.

CSUEB fell to 1-2 overall after they lost 9-8 to Western Water Polo Association foe Cal State Monterey Bay. The one point triumph was the first victory of the year for the Otters who improved to 1-4 on the season.

“It was good to get our first win,” CSUMB Head Coach Gary Figueroa said. “We calmed down in the second half and played much better.”

CSUMB trailed 6-4 at halftime to the Pioneers who controlled the scoreboard for most of the first half. Cal State East Bay got off to a quick start when junior utility player Nayiri Kechichian put one past Otters goalkeeper Amanda Jennings for a 1-0 lead.

Junior Sabrina Hatzer and senior Alyssa Hess each scored two goals for CSUEB in the first half and helped the Pioneers build a 6-4 lead at the halftime. Senior goalkeeper Marrina Nation nabbed five saves in the first half for Cal State East Bay and totaled 12 saves in the game that included a penalty shot in the fourth quarter.

Despite having the lead at halftime the Pioneers could not stop the scoring onslaught by the Otters. Sophomore utility player Bree Hogervorst and her first hat trick of the season led the way for Monterey. CSUMB outscored CSUEB 5-2 in the second half capped off by the game-high third goal of the day for Hogervorst.

“We had a strong first half but could not find any momentum for the second half,” CSUEB Head Coach Lisa Cooper said. “It’s always a battle with Monterey. We will learn and grow from this game.”

Otter’s sophomore Cami Kellogg scored two goals in the fourth quarter and senior Sam Whitecotton scored the other goal in the final period of the match. CSUMB senior goalkeeper Amanda Jennings nabbed 14 saves in the victory despite two fourth quarter goals by CSUEB junior Casey Rushforth.

With 26 seconds left in the game, Rushforth rocketed a ball past Jennings and found the back of the net for the second time which made the score 9-8. The Otters managed to keep possession following the final goal and ran out the clock as they played keep away to secure their first victory of the year.

“When I scored the last time in the fourth I didn’t feel like it secured the win but it was nice to have a two point lead that late,” Whitecotton said. “It felt great to get our first win in a close game.”

CSUEB senior Ka’iliponi McGee added a goal in the loss for Pioneers. Sophomores Adrianna Craft and Tatiana Veloso both scored goals in the victory for the Otters.

Next for the Pioneers is another home game at 5 p.m. tomorrow. CSUEB will take on the nationally ranked number eight University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Pioneer Pool.

Photo| Tam Duong Jr.

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