La Verne kicks off conference play
Posted April 4, 2008
Courtney Droke
Scoring a goal for La Verne, utility player Kari Erickson helped her team douse the Caltech Beavers on Saturday at the La Verne Aquatic Center. The final score of the match was 16-5, bringing the Leopards to a current season record of 6-7. The Leopards are scheduled to continue conference play against Pomona-Pitzer tomorrow in Claremont.

Coming off a win against Colorado College, women’s water polo battled Cal Lutheran and Caltech kicking off conference play this past week.

The Leopards sailed to an easy win on Saturday against Caltech with a score of 16-5, but fell short to Cal Lu on Wednesday losing 11-7.

This leaves the women with a 6-8 overall record and 1-1 in Southern California Intercol­legiate Athletic Conference play.

“I feel we have started our year off fairly well,” Katie Watkins, a senior utility player said.”We’ve had some challenges to get past, but now we’re looking at moving forward.”

Last Saturday, the Leopards cruised past the Beavers taking the early 2-0 lead with less then two minutes after the start of the game.

Additionally, La Verne continued on their scoring drive, chipping in three consecutive goals and taking an 8-2 advantage by halftime.

Senior driver Laura Larsen led the women in scoring finishing with two goals in the first half and two in second.

“It feels good to score, I had the opportunity so I went for it,” Larsen said.
Mary Conter and Catherine Campos each had a pair, while Watkins and senior Kari Erickson added goals to their record books.

On Wednesday La Verne faced the new NCAA Division III No. 1 Cal Lutheran Regals and despite the loss, La Verne was able to maintain a steady defense and offense while holding their own.

ULV’s Jen Aguilar scored a game-high three goals and teammate Mahina Reyes equaled her second half total of two goals.

Despite outscoring Cal Lutheran 5-3 in the second half it was too little, too late.

“It was an intense and tiring game, but it showed us what we are capable of,” Watkins said.

“I’m very proud of the way our team played,” assistant coach Kristen McKown said.”There were a few kinks, but nothing extreme.”

Junior goalie Lindsay Jones had an outstanding performance between the pipes making 12 blocks and some very crucial saves.

“Lindsay was definitely our MVP,” McKown said. ”Her saves were very legitimate and she did an excellent job.”

However, La Verne was unable to stop the Regals’ season leading scorer Meredith Butte, who scored her 40th goal of the season sparking a 7-0 run lasting nearly 13 minutes which gave CLU a 9-2 lead.

The Leopards fought back and were able to close the gap and finish the game only down by four goals.

After the game against Cal Lu, La Verne now has a better understanding of where they stand for this weekend’s upcoming game against Pomona-Pitzer.

For the first part of the season, Pomona was ranked No. 1, until Cal Lu, defeated them 9-3 last weekend.

“I think this goes to show you how close the conference really is,” Watkins said.

“This gives us a lot of confidence and motivation going into this weekends game,” Larsen said.

La Verne will head to Claremont to face Pomona- Pitzer tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Jennifer Gilderman can be reached at jgilderman@ulv.edu.

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