By Alexandra Cannady |Staff Writer|
Water polo kept their heads above water, defeating Gannon University 12-11 in overtime at the Chapman Mini Tournament, Feb. 25.
The Coyotes entered the fourth quarter down by one goal when Captain Misty Vu scored from half-court with one second remaining, sending the match into overtime.
“The game was stressful but we did not stop playing until it was over,” said Vu.
The squad executed their set offense with Vu scoring eight of the 12 goals made during the match. Jasmine Duran, Shelle Kocher, Shelby McCliman and fellow captain Megan McCarthy followed Vu’s lead, scoring one goal apiece.
The squad was able to capture the win despite losing Duran in the fourth quarter due to fouling out of the contest.
“Although Duran was out in the fourth we kept our chemistry and momentum up, our defense really stepped up,” said coach Sarah Reneker.
Goalie Kelsey Purkiss was also a bright spot during the match with 18 saves in the cage and shutout the opposition in overtime.
“Our intensity really carried over to the rest of the tournament as we performed well in all our matches,” said Duran.
The squad had no time to rest after their inspiring win as they found themselves battling in three other matches against Occidental, Mercyhurst and Whittier College.
Even though they suffered a 13-6 defeat against Occidental, the performance was not a disappointing one according to Reneker.
Purkiss defended Coyote territory with 11 saves in the goal and sparking the team’s defensive intensity.
“Even though we lost, the energy from our win carried over into the next section of play in the tournament,” said Reneker.
Despite their defeat, the Coyotes were able to bounce back in the contest that followed, defeating Mercyhurst 8-7.
Vu led once again in scoring with four goals while her teammates Duran and Kayla Barrow each had two.
Mercyhurst rallied in the third quarter, scoring three runs.
The game was tied during the closing minutes, but Duran made the determining score in the last minute of the match gaining a one goal lead and a firm grasp on the win.
The team ended the tournament with a loss of 11-8 to Whittier College.
Despite the loss, coach Reneker was satisfied with her team’s performance, and especially the performance of her goalies.
Purkiss continued to impress with 11 more saves in the net totaling 46 saves for the tournament.