Water Polo: Wildcats drop home set to Siena, Wagner

Jamie Augustinsky

The water polo team competed in its final home matches of the season this past weekend as it took on Siena and Wagner in two MAAC games. Despite solid efforts on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, the team was unable to come away with a victory as it fell to Siena 17-7 and lost to Wagner 16-9.

The morning game against the Siena Saints began in Villanova’s favor as senior Julie Ramaley scored the game’s first goal for the ‘Cats. It was a close matchup throughout the entire first half. After the Saints scored three unanswered goals in the first period, senior Carla Martinez scored at the tail end of the first quarter to pull Villanova within one goal. In a second period that seemed to mirror the first, the Saints again scored three straight goals, while Martinez again gave the momentum back to the Wildcats at the end of the period by scoring a goal.

The ‘Cats trailed 6-3 at the half, but in the second half of the game, Wagner scored 11 of its 17 goals to secure the victory. Martinez and freshman Kathleen Maloney, who also scored twice, were the leading scorers for Villanova. The ‘Cats put up an impressive 31 shots in the game, while senior goalie Erin Foley finished with seven steals and six saves on the defensive side. Ramaley and freshman Mari Apablasa also had good defensive games, as they each had two drawn ejections and one blocked shot.

The second game of the day was against the Wagner Seahawks, a team that beat Villanova by a score of 18-12 in a match on April 6. This game began just as the one against Siena had, with Ramaley scoring the first goal early in the first period. Again, the ‘Cats trailed 3-2 at the end of the first quarter, this time with Maloney scoring just as time expired, but the Seahawks went into halftime with a 9-3 lead.

The Wildcats struck hard coming into the second half, scoring four of the first five goals of the half to cut the lead to three at 10-7, but the Seahawks then took control of the match and held it for the rest of the game. Maloney and Martinez were again the offensive leaders, each having three goals.

The team fell to 3-20 (0-6 MAAC) on the season.

This weekend, the ‘Cats will compete in their final regular season matches. On Saturday, they will go to St. Francis, N.Y., to compete against Marist, who beat them 12-6 in the teams’ last meeting, and St. Francis, who won the last meeting between the two by a score of 14-6. On Sunday, the team will travel to Wagner to play Siena and Iona.

After the set, the team will look ahead to the MAAC championships, which begin on April 25.