Women’s Water Polo Continues Winning Streak

In Marist’s fifth game of the season, they defeated the Virginia Military Institute for its third win of the day, defeating the Keydets 15-9, allowing them to continue their winning streak of 5-0.

“All of us are really passionate about the sport, and we wanted to give it our all, and I think that’s what helped us win today,” Viktoria Orlava ‘22 said. “We kind of brought ourselves together and learned to play as a team. We are trying to make the best of the situation because we are not in the best shape, but we are trying to give it our all. Our goal is to win the MAAC championships.”

On April 24, Marist started their day by defeating the Iona Gaels at home in the McCann Natatorium 14-9. Then, the Red Foxes played the Virginia Military Institute at 4 pm, winning 15-7, and then came back to play them again at 7 pm. Captain Marina Hyham ‘22 of Marist started the final game defending the cage.

“We have been focussing on the little things,” said Head Coach Chris Vidale. “We have no set plays, no structure as far as what we are running, we are just fundamental based, and that is always how I coach. We are trying to be dynamic and put the ball in the back of the net.”

Sawyer Alter, Justine Castro, India Alter, Myriam Lizotte, Shinae Carrington, and Kathryn McCullough started the game for the Red Foxes. VMI took a shot within seconds of starting the game, but the ball didn’t find the back of the net. The first goal went to Marist as Sawyer Alter ‘22 scored with the help of an extra attacker.

“The mantra this year since we started has been to remember the good stuff and clean up the bad stuff, and that’s all we have been trying to do,” Coach Vidale said. “Every game has been a little bit better progressively, and we have been able to play smart and play together.”

The Red Foxes were able to get 33 shots on goal compared to 30 for VMI. After the first Marist goal, Makenna Moore of VMI was able to score with the help of Genevieve Petrassi. The Red Foxes led 5-4 after the first period.

Orlava scored the last goal of the first period for Marist right before the clock ran out. Starting the second period, Orlava drew the attention of the official and drew a whistle for an exclusion. VMI capitalized on their player advantage after the penalty and scored, tying the game early in the second period at 5-5. Marist’s Kathryn McCullough ‘24 scored the final goal of the second period on a penalty shot. Orlava then had an exclusion call on her again and was taken out of the game.

“I was very tired after two games earlier in the day,” Orlava said. “I made a couple of defensive mistakes, and I got kicked out twice, so the coach had to bench me for a little bit, so I didn’t get a third kick out. Near the end of the game, I tried to be more careful, and since I didn’t have a lot of time in the water, I just gave it 150 percent.”

During the third period, VMI was able to score right after the start of play. After a long stretch in the third period of turnovers and penalties, Marist’s Fallon Burnworth ‘23 got the ball in the back of the net with a set-up assist from Gabi Gervasi ‘22. Then, Alter scored her second goal of the night, making the score 10-7 for Marist going into the final period of play.

In the fourth period, Marist capitalized on possession and shooting opportunities as they scored five goals. The final Red Fox goal went to Orlova, making the game 15-8. Late in the fourth period, the Keydets scored one more goal, but the Red Foxes won, making the final score 15-9. Marist is scheduled to play Siena on April 25 at 1 pm and is preparing to compete in the MAAC championships next weekend on May 1 and May 2.

“It has been fun to watch them playing together, but it has been a lot more fun to watch them out of the pool,” Coach Vidale said. “They are really excited and thriving off each other, which is helping because three games today wasn’t easy, and they have been able to support each other throughout the whole process.”

Edited by Jonathan Kinane

Photo from Marist Athletics

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