#9 Water Polo Rolls Over #25 Cal Baptist, 16-6

Mariana Duarte (photo by Wayne Tilcock)
Mariana Duarte (photo by Wayne Tilcock)

STOCKTON, Calif. - After a tight first quarter, the No. 9 Pacific women's water polo team pulled away from No. 25 Cal Baptist for a 16-6 win Saturday at Chris Kjeldsen Pool. Mariana Duarte and Kyra Christmas each scored four goals, while goalie Alexis Hollinrake posted 14 saves and three assists.

Viktoria Tamas scored twice while Brinnley Barthels, Aelish Guinn, Rachel Krieger, Catie Mahnke, Hannah Rapp and Viktoria Szmodics each added a goal.

The Lancers opened with a 1-0 lead on a low-arcing change of pace from Annie Eubanks. Szmodics answered with a near-side finish off a cross-pool pass from Christmas. Valerie Spezzaferri put Cal Baptist up 2-1 with a cross-cage shot Hollinrake could only get her fingertips on, before Duarte's first came on a five-meter penalty shot.  Hollinrake then sprang Mahnke on a breakout, and Mahnke carried it into the two-meter and finished to the short side for a 3-2 Pacific lead after one quarter.

In the second, the Tigers opened the quarter with a series of short, quick passes, including the final pass from Szmodics toward empty water in the center, Krieger simultaneously spun free, accepted the pass and finished with class for a 4-2 advantage.

Tamas picked up a steal at mid pool and raced toward the post, and scored on the short-side for a 5-2 lead. Jessica Castellano answered with a goal from distance for CBU, but the Tigers restarted a 6-on-5 with Christmas tallying for a 6-3 lead. Hollinrake set up Duarte on the perimeter and she beat CBU keeper Lina Medeiros to the near post for her second goal of the game. The Lancers picked up a power-play goal from Jocelyn Schwegler to close within 7-4, but Hollinrake and Duarte teamed up again for a repeat performance and a first-half hat trick as the Tigers led 8-4 at halftime.

In the third, Pacific pulled away with a 5-1 frame. The Lancers scored first to make it 8-5, as Lizette Perez converted on the power-play. From there, the Tigers reeled off eight straight goals over the next 14:24.

Duarte posted her fourth from distance, and Tamas capped a Pacific 6-on-5 off an assist from Duarte. Barthels also scored on a power play, accepting a lateral pass from Mahnke and finishing before the keeper could slide over. Guinn capped the third quarter with a tap-in goal in the two-meeter off the lob from the corner from Ellen Tiedemann as Pacific led 13-5 after three.

In the fourth quarter, Christmas ripped in a goal off a Duarte pass and then finished unassisted before Rapp's first goal of the season came off a Mahnke set-up with 52 seconds left.

The Lancers added a 6-on-5 from Spezzaferri with 26 seconds to go.

Hollinrake finished with 14 saves, one steal and five goals allowed in her 30:39 of action. Her three assists were a season-high as she entered the game with two on the year. Samantha Pfaff finished up in the cage for the final 1:21.

Pacific improves to 14-7 overall, 3-0 in Golden Coast Conference play while Cal Baptist falls to 15-10 overall and 1-2 in GCC play. Pacific's 16 goals were the most the Tigers have scored against a ranked team this season.

Christmas' four goals brought her season total to 42. The redshirt freshman now has a career mark of 61, two goals shy of the Tigers all-time top 25, just 25 games into her collegiate career.

The Tigers are back in action next Friday at No. 12 San Diego State at 4 p.m.