March 29, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova water polo squad (5-14, 1-2) has been slated to face Iona College (11:30 a.m.) and Marist College (4:00 p.m.) in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. on Saturday. Following the two contests, VU will transit to Staten Island, N.Y., on Sunday, to battle Virginia Military Institute (VMI) at noon and St. Francis at 3:00 p.m. Each game of the four on the weekend will be at a neutral site for the `Cats.
This will be the second feud between the Gaels of Iona and the Wildcats of Villanova. In the first meeting, Iona triumphed by a count of 16-7. The score was 8-6 in favor of the Gaels nearing the end of the third quarter, but an 8-1 scoring onslaught afterwards by Iona sealed the contest. As announced in late January, this was the team that swept the 2012 MAAC preseason polls with 48 points. Their current overall record stands at 13-11 with a 2-1 mark in MAAC play.
Marist (10-17, 2-1) is set to take on the `Cats for the first time in 2012. The Red Foxes defeated VMI and Iona, but dropped to nationally ranked Wagner last weekend by a score of 10-9. This game will mark the second and last of two at SFC Pool, which is home to the St. Francis Terriers.
In Staten Island, N.Y., conference newcomer Virginia Military Institute will clash with Villanova. VMI has had some difficulty settling into the league, as the group holds a 1-14 script. Their one win came against Salem international University in a 22-6 shellacking. In MAAC action last weekend, the team fell to Siena, St. Francis and Marist by large margins.
The Wildcats recently bested St. Francis College (3-9, 1-3) in the first conference contest for each team on the 2012 slate. The Terriers earned an early lead in the first, but a shift of momentum in the second quarter propelled the `Cats to a 5-4 advantage at the end of the half. In the third, St. Francis tied the match at eight apiece. VU fired in a last minute shot in the fourth to seal the win by a count of 11-10.
This win was significant for Villanova, as the water polo team has not prevailed in a league game since 2007.
Four players have now reached the 20-point plateau after the 18 games thus far, which includes Hannah Ishida (35), Julia Penkal (26), Callan Edwards (25) and Sarah Armel (23). Posting a one-point or above per game average, along with the 20-point scorers, are Emily Ryan (14), Erin Malone (9) and Elizabeth Clarke (18) through opening weekend of conference action.