Water Polo: 0-4 road trip begins conference play

Jamie Augustinsky

The water polo team opened its regular season MAAC schedule this weekend with four games in New York. On Saturday, Marist played host to Villanova’s two games against Iona and St. Francis. On Sunday, the team traveled to Iona where they again competed in two games, this time against Marist and Wagner. Although the team came up short in all four of the games, falling to 3-18 (0-4 MAAC), the players put up good numbers on both the offensive and defensive sides.

Villanova tried to avenge its 18-10 March loss to the Gaels in the weekend’s first game against Iona, but it lost the rematch by a score of 15-10. Although the ‘Cats played the Gaels pretty much even throughout the second, third and fourth quarters, they could not overcome the 5-1 deficit from the first quarter. Senior driver Carla Martinez led the Wildcats by scoring four goals, while senior goalie Erin Foley recorded six saves and eight steals.

The second game of the day was a 14-6 loss to St. Francis. Freshman Maria Apablasa scored two goals for the ‘Cats, while Martinez continued her big afternoon, scoring two goals. Although Villanova trailed 5-2 at the half, a second-half comeback seemed possible when the ‘Cats scored four goals in the third period. The second-half surge stopped in the fourth quarter, however, as Villanova was held scoreless in this period.

Sunday’s first game had Villanova facing the reigning MAAC champions, Marist. The Red Foxes pulled out to a 9-1 lead at the half, and although Villanova outscored them 5-3 in the second half, the Wildcats were not able to complete a comeback and lost the game 12-6. Foley had six saves, three steals and also recorded an assist on one goal for Villanova.

The last game of the weekend was an 18-12 loss to the Wagner Seahawks. Apablasa scored five goals in the game, while Maloney helped the offense with her four goals. Although the ‘Cats came away with a loss, their 12-goal effort marked their second best offensive output of the season. The only time they scored more goals was in a 14-4 win against Utica on March 29.

This weekend, the team will play its final two home games of the season in matches against the Siena Saints and the Wagner Seahawks on Saturday as Villanova hosts this weekend’s MAAC games in the Villanova Swim Contest. — J.A.