Water Polo’s Season Comes to an End


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Villanova finished its season with a 14-19 record.

Camden Wright, Staff Writer

Villanova’s women’s water polo team wrapped up its season this past weekend at the LIU Pool with losses to No. 18 Wagner College, 15-4, and LaSalle University, 7-5.

In a tough match on Saturday, April 15th, the ‘Cats lost to Wagner. Despite Junior Stella Byles’ two goals, Villanova struggled to keep up with Wagner’s high-powered offense and was outscored, 9-0, in the first and third periods combined.

Although Villanova made some progress in the second quarter, closing the gap to five, Wagner’s strong offense proved too much in the end, as the Seahawks closed out the game with two more goals, securing their victory.

In the next game against La Salle, Villanova started off slow, falling behind, 2-0, early in the game. However, it managed to cut the lead in half before halftime due to a shot from freshman Isabel Foley that found the back of the net.

In the second quarter, Villanova quickly tied the game with a goal from senior Emily Morrissey and took the lead with a goal from sophomore Amelia Baca, just over 30 seconds later.

Villanova’s defense, led by sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Shaw’s two blocks, kept a challenge for La Salle, and the Wildcats extended their lead, 4-2, with a goal from Byles.

Despite a two-goal lead at halftime, Villanova could not overcome La Salle’s strong second-half performance, as La Salle scored to cut Villanova’s lead to 4-3, and it continued to push in the second half. La Salle tied the game, 4-4, and then a penalty foul put the Explorers up, 5-4.

In the fourth quarter, La Salle scored again to extend its lead, 6-4. Villanova’s offense struggled in the second half, but it managed to cut the deficit to one with a goal from Anna Painter.

However, La Salle responded with another goal to make it a 7-5 game, with just over a minute to play.

Villanova scored with six seconds remaining, but it wasn’t enough, as La Salle held on for the win. With this loss, Villanova fell short of earning one of the six spots in the MAAC Championship, ending its 2023 season.

The Wildcats concluded their 2023 season, 14-19.

“[I am] excited to see how next year’s team will respond to this last loss,” head coach Larry Sanders said. “I know they will want another opportunity to get to the conference championships.

“[The team will be] placing a large emphasis on scoring goals next season,” Sanders said. “We have talented players, but we need to be more consistent.”