WASHINGTON, Penn. — The Occidental women's water polo team opened the 2019 season with a 3-1 showing at Washington and Jefferson Invite over the weekend.
"We had contributions on offense and defense from the entire team and played with great effort and awareness," Oxy head coach Jack Stabenfeldt. "We had a lot of time leading up to this tournament to prepare and I'm excited that we got off to such a great start. The team has learned a lot through the first month of the season, and it was great to see them showcase their hard work."
Game 1: Occidental 8, Grove City 5
Oxy played great transition defense and limited Grove City to tough shots late in the clock, surrendering just five goals all game.
It was close through three quarters and then the Tigers pulled away with a 3-0 fourth quarter.
The Tigers overcame a little rust on offense.
"Offensively we worked hard, but our decision making was slow and led to 24 team turnovers," Stabenfeldt said. "We need to be much better there, but it is good to know that we can win a game with such a high number of giveaways."
Mika O'Shea was outstanding in the goal, making 16 saves and three steals. She was active and blocked shots late in the clock.
Game 2: Salem 14, Occidental 4
The Tigers battled in the first half scoring the first goal of the game and going into the locker room down 5-3. In the second half, Salem outscored the Tigers 9-1, taking advantage of turnovers and transition opportunities.
"We battled in the first half and missed some great looks. It was 3-5 at half and I felt like Ella did a good job to keep us in the game," Stabenfeldt said. "In the second half we struggled to win our one one one matchups on offense, leading to turnovers and six counter goals for Salem."
Game 3: Occidental 16, PSU-Behrend 8
Chelsea Evan had six steals, a pair of goals and one assist.
Game 4: Occidental 17, Wittenberg 11
Oxy came out in dominating fashion, using its pressure defense to force turnovers and jump in front 5-0.
Mika O'Shea had some big steals and saves that gave Oxy momentum.