RIVERSIDE, Calif.---It was an up-and-down day for the California Baptist women’s water polo team. On the positive side the Lancers scored 20 goals and improved to 9-0 all-time against Fresno Pacific. The negative: they let a three-goal lead slip away in the second half against Maryland en route to their second home loss in three days. CBU lost 8-7 to the Terrapins before defeating Fresno Pacific 13-8 on the final day of the second Lancer Invitational. Petra Kovacs had six goals while Camryn Rogers blocked 19 shots to keep CBU's loss total to single digits.
In the first match the Lancers (16-9) squared off with Maryland (10-8), looking to wits its third straight. But instead of continuing its streak CBU scored just four goals in 12 6-on-5 possessions, missed two 5-meter penalty shots, and gave the Terrapins two penalty goals in a game that was marred by mistakes and whistles.
Kovacs opened the Lancer attack with the first goal of the match, but the Terps countered with two straight goals to lead 2-1 at the end of the first.
Well into the second quarter Christina Webb evened the game at 2-2 with a 6-on-5 goal. Prior to that the Lancers were 0-3 with an advantage including a missed 5-meter. For the rest of the half each team struggled; going scoreless over the final three minutes to go into the break at 2-2.
CBU came out of the break on fire. Rachel Esau ignited the spurt with a score 20 seconds in. Webb and Tania Acavedo followed suit with 6-on-5 goals to give the Lancers a 5-2 lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
The Terrapins, however, responded with a streak of their own, scoring four goals in a four-minute span to take a 7-6 lead.
Kovacs ended the run with her second goal of the game before eventually netting the go-ahead score with 3:06 on the clock. Maryland offset the goal with Simone Lewis’ first score before the Terrapins registered their third fourth-quarter goal to take an 8-7 lead late in the match.
With under a minute to play CBU got a stop and Head Coach Jacob Medina called timeout, setting the Lancers up for a game-tying attempt.
With seconds ticking off the clock the women looked for an open shot but the Maryland defense held, forcing Kovacs to heave a buzzer-beating attempt that sailed just over the goal; giving CBU its third home loss of 2011.
The match was whistle-heavy, with 20 total ejections and four penalties. Two Maryland players had three ejections, while three had two exclusions. Both goalies racked up 10+ saves, with Rogers posting 11. Mallory Montano drew seven of the ejections including a 5-meter penalty.
The Lancers fell to 1-2 all-time against the University of Maryland and needed a win in the nightcap to avoid a sweep on day two of the Invite.
CBU was 8-0 all-time against FPU heading into the match and after faltering against Maryland, the Lancers looked to right the ship vs. a Fresno Pacific team they’ve handled in the schools’ brief series.
The opening quarter, however, had the Lancers showing more of their mistake prone side. CBU failed to convert two Fresno Pacific ejections into goals and Chevalier missed a wide-open fast break attempt to end the quarter tied at 2-all.
Chevalier did notch an earlier score along with Birch, while the Sunbirds got two shots past Rogers.
The Lancers looked more focused to open the second. CBU rattled off three straight scores from three different players. Chevalier began the streak, while Acavedo and Webb capped it. FPU got a goal from Jennifer Cobb, but Kovacs quickly put the Lancers back up by three. The Sunbirds got a late first half goal to trail 6-4 at the break.
Molly Gritchen nabbed her first score of the match to again give CBU a three-goal lead, but FPU bounced back to make it 7-5. Esau’s backhand from set and Chavalier’s fast break no-doubter gave the Lancers a 9-5 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Kovacs’ second score of the game with 6:17 to go proved to be too much for FPU as CBU finished on a 6-3 run to grab the 13-8 win.
Briana Tryon hit the back of the net twice in the fourth to tally her first scores of the Invite.
Rogers finished with eight saves, while Chevalier and Kovacs posted hat tricks.
The Lancers will have another tough week as they head to Irvine to face the No. 12 ranked Anteaters of UC Irvine and Concordia on March 23.