WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alana Ponce‘s buzzer-beater lifted George Washington University women’s water polo to a 10-9 win over visiting Saint Francis University at Smith Center Pool in non-conference competition.
With the score tied and eight seconds left in regulation, the Colonials took a timeout for head coach Barry King to draw up a final play.
Goalkeeper Samantha Runyon tossed it to Jaleh Moaddeli, who found Ponce just beyond the five-meter line. After being fouled, the sophomore from Gig Harbor, Wash., shot immediately off the restart, beating the horn with the game-winning goal.
That thrilling finish capped an impressive second half for Ponce, who scored all four of her goals after intermission to help the Colonials close the weekend in their home pool with a victory.
GW needed those heroics to edge St. Francis in a back-and-forth contest. The Colonials led 6-3 on consecutive goals from Juliette Belanger, Ponce and Kira Bruno to start the second half, but the Red Flash answered with the next three to tie it again.
Ponce’s score with 4:40 left in regulation made it 9-7 before the visitors rallied to even the score with 1:00 remaining via a pair of power-play goals.
GW could not convert on the ensuing possession but forced a turnover to set up the final possession, which Ponce turned into a game-winning goal to the roaring approval of the home crowd.
In addition to her team-high four goals, Ponce also paced GW in steals (five) and ejections drawn (three).
Belanger scored twice, while Moaddeli tallied a goal and an assist. Bruno, Allison DeCicco and Katherine Atherton also scored for the Colonials.
Runyon was strong in net for the Buff and Blue, posting nine saves and three steals.
Release courtesy George Washington University Athletics Communications