March 30, 2013
VILLANOVA, PA. - The Villanova women's water polo team turned in a fine performance on Senior Day at the Villanova Pool on Saturday, March 30. Villanova posted two Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (MAAC) victories with a 14-11 win over St. Francis (NY) and a thrilling 10-9 victory against Virginia Military Institute (VMI). With the two victories, the Wildcats improve to 5-22 overall and 2-2 in MAAC play.
With this being the team's final home performance of the season, head coach Damon Newman and the Wildcats honored eight senior student-athletes in a pre-game ceremony. The eight seniors who were honored included Maria Campanile, Katie Hannigan, Hannah Ishida, Kristy Majetich, Erin Malone, Lauren Peachey, Julia Penkal and Emily Ryan.
Freshman Sarina Shibata helped the Wildcats start quickly against St. Francis. The rookie scored the first three goals of the contest to help Villanova take the early momentum. Shibata would prove to be the offensive star for Villanova in the win, as she finished with a game-high six goals.
The VMI game was a back and forth affair that went down to the final minute. As was the case in the St. Francis game, Villanova started quickly racing to a 2-0 lead. The advantage was short lived, as the Keydets scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead.
Villanova put an end to the VMI scoring run and registered two straight goals to tie it at 4-4. The Keydets then tallied two scores of their own to grab a 6-4 advantage. Villanova tied the game for a third time with two consecutive goals, before VMI scored to re-gain the lead at 7-6.
The Wildcats once again registered back-to-back goals to take an 8-7 lead with 2:31 remaining in the third period. The Keydets then posted two consecutive goals, including one with just seven seconds left in the period, to take a 9-8 advantage heading to the fourth and final period.
After the Wildcats tied it at 9-9, Shibata proved to be the hero for Villanova, as she scored the game-winner on a backhand shot in the center. Moore was sensational for the Wildcats in the fourth stanza, making critical saves as VMI pressed for the tying goal. Moore finished the game with 10 saves.
Shibata led the Wildcats in the win with three goals, giving her nine on the day. Ishida and Edwards added two goals each. Edwards also contributed a team-best four assists. Penkal, Ng and Newman all had one goal in the victory.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, April 6, when the Wildcats travel to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The Wildcats will play host Marist at 1 p.m., before battling Siena at 4 p.m.