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Division III No. 5 Augustana College-vs.-Washington & Jefferson College Scoresheet (2024 Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III Championship – Game #9)

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Defending Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division III Champion/CWPA Division III regular season champion/Division III No. 5-ranked Augustana College overcame deficits of 5-2 and 7-5 at the conclusion of the first and second quarters, respectively, to overwhelm Washington & Jefferson College, 16-10, in the second semifinal at the 2024 CWPA Division III Championship hosted by Connecticut College at the Jane Cadwell Lott ’36 Natatorium.

Augustana (18-3, 8-0 CWPA Division III) – which previously finished second (2022) and first (2023) in the program’s two prior CWPA Division III Championship appearances both against Austin College – will get a chance to claim the rubber-match on Sunday, April 21, at 1:30 p.m. as the Division III No. 9 Kangaroos captured the other semifinal by an 8-7 count versus Division III No. 7 Macalester.

The title game marks the third time in as many years the two programs have clashed for the crown as Austin claimed an 18-7 win at Grove City in Grove City, Pa., for the 2022 title before the Vikings returned the favor with a 16-8 win last year at Macalester in St. Paul, Minn.

In addition, due to guaranteeing the program at least a runner-up position in the CWPA Division III Championship field, the Vikings lock up a berth to the 2024 USA Water Polo Division III Championship on Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5, at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Champion or runner-up (if the champion elects not to host).  The USA Water Polo Division III Championship is comprised of the top two finishing programs from both the CWPA Division III and SCIAC ranks.

Washington & Jefferson (7-11, 4-4 CWPA Division III) – which previously finished second (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), third (2013), fourth (2010, 2018),10th (2019) and sixth (2022, 2023) along with not appearing at the 2021 championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will seek to add a second third place finish to the Presidents’ legacy on Sunday, April 21, at Noon Eastern/9:00 a.m. Pacific versus Macalester in the Third Place game.

W&J appeared primed to rampage against the Vikings as Mekkiye Ergun (Jr., Chicago, Ill./Lake View) put away a natural goal (6:59) and Emma Halle (Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) converted a penalty shot (5:08) to stake the Presidents to a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the first quarter.

Charlotte Newport (Jr., Baytown, Texas/Ross S. Sterling) and Annelie McGhee (Fr., Windermere, Fla./Olympia) answered for Augustana with back-to-back tallies at 4:47 and 3:56, respectively, but Laura Anthony (Jr., Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) (2:25, 1:11) and Sydney Neumann (Jr., Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) (1:46) closed out the opening eight minutes with a trio of scores to push W&J ahead, 5-2.

The margin ballooned to 6-2 54 seconds into the second quarter (7:06) as Halle struck again.  Player of the Game Ocean Akau (Jr., Pana’ewa, Hawaii/Kamehameha) terminated the run by lining in a penalty shot for Augustana with 5:37 until halftime, but Halle completed a hat-trick with 3:10 on the clock to return W&J’s lead to four at 7-3.

Newport (2;05, man-up) and Akau (eight seconds) started a rally for Augustana as the duo deposited shots in the closing minutes of the second quarter to shrink the Vikings’ deficit down to 7-5 heading into halftime.

Augustana completed its comeback within the first two minutes of the third quarter as Casey Barragan (Jr., Commerce, Calif./La Serna/Fresno State University) swished a natural goal at 6:52 and Newport cashed in a penalty shot at 6:13 to deadlock the teams at seven-all.

The Vikings moved ahead as Annie Opal Dickson (Jr,, Imperial Beach, Calif./Mar Vista) and McGhee tacked on strikes at 5:33 and 5:11, respectively, to push Augustana out in front for the first time at 9-7. 

The lead was short-lived, however, as Neumann (5:00) and Anthony (3:25, penalty shot) responded for the Presidents to even the damage at nine-all.

For Augustana, the game turned in their favor during the last two minutes of the third quarter as Akau (1:43) and Waiahuli Akau (Fr., Pana’ewa, Hawaii/Kamehameha) (1:04) put away shots before goalkeeper Susan Palmentera-Reid (Fr., Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech) a pool-length shot which found the goalmouth to provide the Vikings a 12-9 margin heading into the fourth quarter.

The gap continued to expand to start the final eight minutes of regulation as Mary King (So., Bakersfield, Calif./Garces Memorial/California Baptist University) (7:10), Barragan (5:01) and Newport (3:50) padded the Vikings’ lead to 15-9 with under four minutes left in regulation.

Hallie Ratcliff (Fr., Friendswood, Texas/Friendswood) snapped Augustana’s scoring run by burying a man-up chance with 3:41 to play, but the Vikings looted another marker prior to the final horn as Ocean Akau dented the twine with 1:45 left to complete a hat-trick.

For Augustana, Newport (four), Ocean Akau (four), Barragan (two) and McGhee (two) posted multi-goal games, while Opal Dickson, King, Waiahuli Akau and Abril slipped in solo scores.  Palmentera-Reid finished with six saves to pick up the win in cage.

Anthony (three), Halle (three) and Neumann (two) keyed the Presidents’ attack.  Ratcliff and Ergun each found the back of the goal once to aid a three save performance by goalkeeper Alliey Cunningham (Jr., Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township).

1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
Washington & Jefferson College
5 2 2 1 10
Division III No. 5 Augustana College 2 3 7 4 16
Augustana Goals: Charlotte Newport (4); Ocean Akau (4); Casey Barragan (2); Annelie McGhee (2); Annie Opal Dickson; Mary King; Waiahuli Akau; Natalie Abril
W&J Goals: Laura Anthony (3); Emma Halle (3); Sydney Neumann (2); Hallie Ratcliff; Mekkiye Ergun
Saves: Augustana – Susan Palmentera-Reid (6) ; W&J – Alliey Cunningham (3)
Exclusions: Augustana – 7 ; W&J – 10
Advantage Opportunities: Augustana – 1-for-10 ; W&J – 3-for-7
Sprints: Augustana – 2-for-4 (2nd, 3rd); W&J – 2-for-4 (1st, 4th)
Cards/Misconducts: YC – Washington & Jefferson (Head coach Nikola Malezanov, 5:11 left in 3rd Q); YC – Augustana (Head coach Ryan Pryor, 2:56 left in 3rd Q)
Officials: Michael Francis, Alex High


Washington & Jefferson College’s Hallie Ratcliff (#14)

Augustana College’s Annie Opal Dickson (#9) lunges to defend Washington & Jefferson College’s Hallie Ratcliff (#14)

Augustana College’s Annelie McGhee (#15) scans the defense as Washington & Jefferson College’s Rylee Mitchell (#3) eyes a potential steal

Collegiate Water Polo Association