Water Polo: George Washington and Maryland topple Villanova

Jamie Augustinsky

The women’s water polo team opened up its ’08 season by hosting the George Washington Colonials at the Villanova Swim Center on Friday. Although the first half of play was close, the ‘Cats were unable to overcome a third-quarter surge by George Washington and lost by a score of 14-7.

Villanova got off to a slow start in the game but outscored the Colonials in the second period to pull within two goals, making the score 5-3. A six-goal third period by George Washington put the game away for the Colonials as Villanova, which was only able to put up one point in that period, could not close in on the deficit.

Despite the loss, the players displayed much promise and hard play. Freshman utility player Maria Apablasa made a stellar debut, scoring three goals and having one assist in her first game as a Wildcat. Senior goalie Erin Foley started her final season at Villanova with a strong defensive outing as she had nine saves and eight steals. She also pitched in on the offensive side with one assist.

On Saturday afternoon, the team traveled to New Jersey for the Princeton Invitational where it played against Maryland. A 13-goal first half by the Terrapins put them on pace to win the game by a final score of 14-2. For the ‘Cats, freshmen drivers Jennifer Lynch and Kathleen Maloney each scored a goal.

Although Villanova dropped both its games this weekend, the Wildcats scored a total of nine goals, seven of which were scored by freshmen players. These new additions to the team this season should help it to continue to get better as the Wildcats look to improve upon their 12-14 record of last season.

Next up, Villanova will compete against Bucknell in the Maryland Invitational this Saturday in College Park, Md.