LEXINGTON, Va. – Clark King Pool has been kind to the VMI women’s water polo team in its inaugural season. The Keydets improved to 2-0 in their home pool after downing Salem International University 20-10 on Monday evening.
Both of the Keydets’ home games this season have been against Salem International, with VMI out-scoring the Tigers 42-16 in those two games.
But Monday’s result was a little closer than the score indicates. The Keydets held off a late run by Salem International, which was within striking distance as the Keydets led 14-9 with just under seven minutes to play in the game.
Mackenzie Perkins was a big key in the VMI win, which snapped a 20-game slide dating back to February. The freshman utility player tied the program’s mark for goals in a single game with her seven tallies on the night. The team’s co-captains Molly Andoe and Sam Farr got in on the action with four goals apiece while Heather Magill and Elise Reed posted a pair each. Freshman Tatiana Wabrek notched her first career marker as well.
Kicking off each quarter, Perkins helped VMI win all three sprints, collecting three herself while Katheryne Austin snared the one in the fourth quarter.
Between the pipes, senior keeper Amanda Berrios made seven saves, playing in 20 minutes of game time. Wabrek spelled Berrios in the second and part of the fourth quarters, making three saves in the game, including two in the second stanza.
Salem International (0-15) was led once again by Kerinn Fields, who tallied six goals, matching her point total from the last meeting between these two teams in February. But unlike the last match in which Fields scored all of the Tigers’ goals, Monique Hill and Nazira Mukhamejan recorded two tallies apiece.
In goal for the Tigers, Tre’Shaun Roberson made four stops, with three coming in the first quarter and the fourth in the final period.
The Keydets jumped out to a hot start, scoring the game’s first four goals before Salem International jumped on the board with 2:39 left in the first quarter. VMI won the first stanza 4-1, aided by two goals each from Perkins and Andoe.
In the second period, VMI (2-20) tallied another five goals while only allowing the Tigers two. Four different Keydets got in on the scoring in the second period, with Farr getting two and one each from Magil, Reed and Andoe.
VMI took a 9-3 lead into the halftime break, but the Tigers took advantage of the respite as the two teams went goal-for-goal in the third. VMI scored four of the first five goals in the period, but Salem International rallied scored the next four before Magill tallied an extra-man goal to break the run. SIU would score once more in the period as VMI held a six-goal advantage, 14-8.
Salem International cut the lead down to five, 14-9, as Mukhamejan tallied her second. But the Keydet offense came to life, finding the back of the next six more times in the fourth to ice the program’s second win.
VMI is idle until Saturday afternoon when the Keydets head to Villanova, Pa. for its final weekend of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action. The Keydets will take on Wagner College on Saturday at 1 p.m., followed with a doubleheader on Sunday against Iona College and the weekend’s host, Villanova University. All three games will be played at Villanova Swim Complex.