PASADENA, Calif. (Mar. 19, 2016) – Freshman Elise Cutts (Portland, Ore. / Sunset) made 26 saves while allowing just 18 goals and freshman Brittany Percin (Moraga, Calif. / Stanford Online) fired home nine goals as Caltech women's water polo tied the program record for wins in a season with a 10-7 victory over Macalester College and a narrow 11-10 overtime loss to Connecticut College on Saturday.
Caltech 10, Macalester 7
Head Coach Jon Bonafede's squad started out better than he could ever have hoped, amassing a 3-0 lead over the first five-and-a-half minutes. The Scots' Lucille Moran went off for a pair of goals to pull Macalester back into the game, but Percin completed her first quarter hat trick on Caltech's final possession to carry a 4-2 lead into the first break.
After another two scoreless minutes in the second quarter, senior Soumya Kannan (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M Gunn) took the Beavers out to a three-goal lead again. The Scots rallied immediately, however, with back-to-back scores making it a one-goal game with 3:05 left in the first half. This time, it was senior Stephanie Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula)'s turn to take control, firing in two long-range efforts to regain the three-goal edge at halftime, 7-4.
A tough defensive battle ensued in the third quarter, with three exclusions in the first five minutes and only one goal scored, which junior Mary Boyajian (Sun Valley, Calif. / Village Christian) notched for the 8-4 lead. Cutts was integral in building the four-goal margin as she made several incredible saves and five total over the quarter.
Kannan converted on Caltech's first possession of the fourth quarter and, although Macalester threatened to claw back into the game, the Beavers held on for the decisive 10-7 victory.
Caltech 10, Conn. College 11 (OT)
Both teams took some time to test each other's defenses over a scoreless opening five minutes in the final game of the day. Conn. College got on the board at the 3:04 mark, but Percin responded with her sixth goal of the day just a minute later. The Camels retook the lead as the clock ticked under a minute and Caltech was unable to capitalize on an extraman opportunity, leaving the score 2-1 after the first quarter.
Conn. College had better luck after a Beavers exclusion, taking a two-goal lead within the first minute of the second quarter. Percin took over at that point, scoring the final three goals of the quarter to hand Caltech the 4-3 lead at halftime.
Conn. College benefitted from another extraman goal with 6:15 on the clock in the third quarter, but Caltech answered with strikes from Boyajian and freshman Katie Johnston (Livermore, Calif. / Livermore) to move ahead by two goals. The Camels were awarded a penalty just 12 seconds later and converted, but Caltech retained the lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Boyajian atoned for the penalty call with her second goal of the game early in the fourth quarter, but three straight Camels goals on as many possessions, including two quick counters, flipped the score line to 8-7 in Conn. College's favor. Percin stepped up when needed with 2:03 left to play, tying the game at 8-8 and following a handful of fruitless possessions for each team, the foes headed to overtime.
Caltech took the lead on the first possession as Kannan blasted a deep shot into the net, but the Camels tied it up two possessions later and the second overtime period soon followed.
Once again, the Beavers went ahead on a deep score by Wong with 1:52 remaining, but Conn. College's Kelsey Millward went unmarked and scored with 1:18 and just 28 seconds left to steal the game for the Camels.
Bonafede and the Beavers host Virginia Military Institute (4-6) on Tuesday, Mar. 22 at 11 a.m.