Redlands Women’s Water Polo Falls in Golden-Goal Overtime in SCIAC Championship Game
After collecting a pair of opening wins in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship Tournament, the No.2-seeded University of Redlands women's water polo team came up one goal short in the title game against the top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Colleges Sagehens. The squads battled into a knotted score through four periods and eventually went into golden-goal overtime, with the Sagehens nabbing the win by a score of 12-11.
The championship game between the Bulldogs and the Sagehens was a back and forth battle in which Redlands never trailed during the first four frames.
Following a late first-period score by the Sagehens, senior center Joy Corona (Lake Bluff, IL) found the back of the net for her first goal of the contest to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 3-1 early in the second frame.
After Pomona-Pitzer tied it up at three apiece, the Bulldogs rattled off three unanswered netters to begin the third frame, giving them their biggest lead of the day at 6-3. By the end of the frame, the score was tightened to a 7-6 score-line in favor of the Maroon and Gray.
Seventeen seconds into the fourth stanza, junior driver Moana Tuipulotu (Lahaina, HI) gave Redlands an 8-6 lead by scoring her third goal of the contest.
Not to be outdone, the Sagehens clawed their way back to even the score at eight with 5:35 remaining.
Neither team could capitalize in the waning minutes of regulation, sending the championship game into overtime.
In the first overtime session, Tuipulotu scored her fourth goal of the contest to give the Bulldogs a one-goal lead, but saw that lead disappear when the Sagehens surged ahead by a 10-9 tally.
Immediately in the second overtime, Nippert tied the game at 10-10 for the Bulldogs as she unleashed her fourth score of the contest.
The teams traded goals during the remainder of the second extra period, finally sending the game into a golden-goal overtime stanza. Unfortunately for Redlands, the Sagehens scored the all-important netter just over two minutes into the action, resulting in the heartbreaking loss for the Bulldogs.
Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Lupfer (San Diego, CA) tallied 11 saves for the Maroon and Gray.
En route to the SCIAC Championship game, the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers of Occidental College, 7-6, in an exciting semi-final comeback. Redlands trailed at one point in the contest, 3-6, before rallying to tie the game in the fourth stanza. Tuipulotu provided the eventual game-winner with only 3:15 remaining.
Nippert, Tuipulotu and freshman center-defender Haley Hollinrake (Redlands, CA) provided two scores apiece, while Corona found the back of the net once.
Lupfer made seven stops while patrolling the cage.
In the opening game of the tournament, Redlands took down the host school, Whittier College, in a solid 11-6 performance. After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, the Bulldogs cruised to the easy victory over the seventh-seeded Poets.
Corona served as the offensive work horse, converting six goals for the Maroon and Gray. Nippert and Stein each chipped in two netters, and freshman center-defender Hannah Ongman (Flossmoor, IL) came up with one.
Lupfer stepped up with eight saves.
The Bulldogs finish the 2012 season at 20-15 overall and 8-2 in SCIAC play, which places them second in the final SCIAC standings.