ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's water polo team moved into fourth place in the SCIAC standings with a close 12-11 victory over Whittier College (7-15, 5-6 SCIAC) this afternoon. The Panthers (9-14, 5-5 SCIAC) were led by senior Elaine Peterson, who scored six goals and tallied three steals and two earned ejections in the winning effort.
Chapman went up 3-0 early in the first quarter when Peterson, fellow senior Mary Welton and freshman Audrey Hattori each netted a goal. After a couple of Poet goals cut the lead to one goal, Peterson put one in the back of the net to give the Panthers a 4-2 advantage heading into the second quarter of play.
Peterson scored her third goal of the day in the first 20 seconds of the second quarter to extend Chapman's lead even further. Freshman Emily Whitney and sophomore Argelia Diaz each added another goal for the Panthers, making the score 7-2 with less than four minutes left to play in the first half. Whittier answered with a couple of goals but Peterson netted two more in the final two minutes of the second quarter to make the score 8-4 heading into the second half.
The third quarter was all Whittier action as the Poets scored five unanswered goals to tie the game at nine apiece heading into the final quarter of play. Chapman came out of the huddle strong, scoring three straight goals in the first five minutes to take a three-goal lead. The Poets fought back, scoring a goal with just 18 seconds left to play to cut the Panthers' lead to two. After a turnover that gave Whittier the ball back with 11 seconds to play, Whittier senior Kendyl Riley scored another goal at the buzzer, making the final score 12-11 in favor of the Panthers.
Hattori had a big helping hand in the victory, tallying two goals, one assist, four steals and three earned ejections. Senior Julia Furtado led the squad with three assists while also recording two steals.
With this win, Chapman moves above the Poets into fourth place in the conference standings with just three more games left to play. The top four teams in the standings head to the postseason tournament to fight for the SCIAC Championship title.
The Panthers head out on the road next to take on Cal Lutheran but return to Allred Olympic Pool on Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m. to take on Caltech.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant