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Water Polo Starts Off Season at Harvard Home Kick-Off
Freshman Sarina Shabita

Feb. 4, 2013


The women’s water polo team kicked off their 2013 campaign this past weekend at the Harvard Home Kick-Off Tournament in Cambridge, Mass.  While the Wildcats didn’t come away with a victory on the weekend, the team remains hopeful and optimistic about what’s next to come for them this season.  Villanova played three back-to-back-to-back games in the tournament against CAMO, Harvard and Iona. 

Game 1: Villanova 6, CAMO 9

Villanova played a tough defensive game in the first half, only allowing CAMO to three goals.  The Wildcats came back towards the end of the period, down 2-1, and racked up two more goals to tie up the match by halftime. 

CAMO came out strong in the second half and due to a series of man-down defensive possessions, they were able to come back and score on junior goalkeeper Maddi Moore (Malvern, Pa.) who had seven saves on the game.

Offensively for the Wildcats, freshman Sarina Shibata (Honolulu, Hawaii) contributed her first collegiate career goal and also added one assist, one field block, and two steals.  Senior Julia Penkal (Harleysville, Pa.) made an impressive three out of five shots on goal. Sophomores Callan Edwards (Oxnard, Calif.) and Sadie Dutcher (Pasadena, Calif.) also contributed a goal each.  In addition to Shibata, Sammy Salvo (New Canaan, Conn.) and Hannah Ishida (Honolulu, Hawaii) each tallied an assist.

Game 2: Villanova 6, Harvard 18

Villanova went down by six goals early in the game as the first quarter ended with the tournament hosts, Harvard, leading 6-0.  The Wildcats had trouble converting their attempts on Harvard and only put up one goal, ending the first half with the Crimson leading 11-1. Villanova found more success in the third quarter and held Harvard to just one score, while netting two goals of their own. Maddi Moore made an impressive 15 blocks and two steals in goal.  However, the last-chance scores were not enough to come back from a 12-3 deficit, and the wildcats lost 18-6.



Villanova saw goals from a number of players, including one from freshman Naomi Ng (Kapolei, Hawaii), who tallied her first collegiate score in the match. Seniors Hannah Ishida and Lauren Peachey (Harleysville, Pa.) each scored a goal. Peachey scored after drawing a 5-meter penalty and Ishida scored in center with a backhanded shot. The sophomore class made successful offensive attempts as Sammy Salvo, Callan Edwards, and Sadie Dutcher all netted a score. Sarina Shibata made an assist, and freshman Lizzie Newman earned her first collegiate sprint. 

Villanova looks to pull an upset over Harvard next weekend at the Princeton Invite. The Wildcats will face the Crimson three times total this season.

Game 3: Villanova 2, Iona 12

This pre-season MAAC matchup provided Villanova with useful game experience for what they will expect later on during conference play.

Freshman Julie Conrath (Inverness, Ill.) notched her first collegiate start and saved three shots in goal.  Fellow freshman, Katie Latimer (Orinda, Calif.) also made her collegiate debut and took over at the half. Latimer recorded one save. Villanova held Iona to only two goals in the first quarter, leaving Villanova behind 2-1. Iona took a greater lead in the second quarter to make the score 7-1 by halftime.  Again, Villanova had trouble converting attempts by the Iona goalie and were only able to score one more time before the final whistle blew, giving Iona the 12-2 win over the Wildcats. 

Freshman Sarina Shibata and senior Maria Campanile (Burr Ridge, Ill.) tallied the goals for Villanova.  Shibata also had a career-high of four steals and five kick outs drawn. Lizzie Newman won her second sprint in three attempts for the day. 

The Wildcats found themselves with many attempts on goal throughout the weekend and are optimistic about their start to the season. The team is back in action next weekend when they face Princeton, Cal, Harvard, and George Washington at the Princeton Invite in Princeton, N.J.