NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The VMI women’s water polo team concluded its first weekend of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action on Sunday, taking on Marist College. The Keydets fell 19-7 to the Red Foxes, but VMI put up its highest goal total for a MAAC game so far this year.
“We are a new team and with that comes many opportunities to grow,” said VMI head coach Anna Phelps, whose team has played 14 games since March 9. “I believe we can be competitive in the MAAC as we continue to refine our core fundamentals and improve on our six on five front court offense.”
The Keydets (1-14, 0-3 MAAC) had three different goal scorers on the afternoon, with freshman captain Molly Andoe finding the back of the goal twice, once each in the even quarters. Fellow freshman Heather Magill chipped in a first quarter goal while Mackenzie Perkins added two goals in the second and one each in the third and fourth periods.
Phelps and the Keydets employed a different strategy in goal on Sunday, using senior Amanda Berrios between the pipes in the first and third quarters, while putting freshman Tatiana Wabrek in the cage for the second and fourth. VMI played defense in the shallow end of Iona College’s Hynes Center Pool.
In water polo, only the goal keeper is allowed to touch the bottom of the pool, which gave the Keydets a distinct advantage in the shallow end where Wabrek was able to use all 5-11 of her height to make four saves on the day. Berrios made three saves in the deeper end of the pool.
“We had good offensive movement that gave us the opportunity to play in man-up situations, but unfortunately, we just didn’t pass or shoot well enough to use this to our advantage,” said Phelps. “We will go back to practice this week with a very clear idea of what it will take for us to be more successful next weekend and the team is committed to putting in the time to get it done.”
The Keydets return to MAAC action next weekend for a set of four games, two on Saturday and another pair on Sunday. In the first two games, VMI will take on Wagner College at 1 p.m. and Iona at 5:30 p.m. Those two games will be played in Brooklyn, N.Y. Sunday’s games will be at Wagner where VMI will take on St. Francis (N.Y.) at 9 a.m. and a first-time clash with Villanova University at noon.