NEW LONDON, Conn. — Cara Mullery (Jr., Palmetto Bay, Fla./MAST Academy) and Oriana Galasso (Jr., Gresham, Ore./Central Catholic) both scored three times and goalie Courtney Overland (Sr., Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani) earned Player of the Game honors with 14 saves as Division III No. 8-ranked/Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA)-West Region Champion Macalester College captured its third consecutive CWPA Division III Championship with an 8-5 victory over No. 10 Austin College.
Competing at Connecticut College’s Jane Cadwell Lott ’36 Natatorium, the Scots (12-5) topped the Kangaroos (8-9) for the third time in 2019 as the now three-tie reigning champions downed CWPA Division III-West Region runner-up Austin by counts of 11-7 (March 2 at Wittenberg University) and 8-6 (March 30 at Macalester) during the regular season.
Macalester – which captured the 2017 crown with a 10-9 overtime defeat of Washington & Jefferson College at home in St. Paul, Minn., prior to upending Connecticut College last year at the Hallman Aquatics Center in Erie, Pa., by a 13-12 score in sudden death overtime – trailed twice in the first quarter before righting the ship to take the ‘ship.
Presley Woods (Fr., Lantana, Texas) opened the game’s scoring as she found the back of the cage with 6:07 left in the opening quarter to stake the first-year varsity ‘Roos to a 1-0 lead. Oriana Galasso (Jr., Gresham, Ore./Central Catholic) balanced the scoreboard for Macalester 62 seconds later, but Woods split the Scots’ defense to nail in another strike with 1:35 on the clock to put the Kangaroos back ahead at 2-1.
Macalester pulled even prior to the conclusion of the first eight minutes as Lucille Moran (Sr., Ann Arbor, Mich./Hurton) lined in a five-meter penalty shot with 24 second left to deadlock the squads at two-all.
Galasso put the Scots into the lead midway through the second quarter as she delivered on a man-up chance with 4:03 until halftime. Mullery built the margin to 4-2 prior to the break as she arched in a shot with 2:30 on the clock.
Austin climbed back into the game in the opening moments of the third quarter as Kendall Katusak (Fr., Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock) and Lexi Wong (Fr., Lantana, Texas/Guyer) delivered back-to-back tallies at 6:08 and 4:27 to square the score at four-all.
However, Mullery proved to be their equal by torching the twine with shot at 2:08 and five seconds to present Macalester with a 6-4 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Riley Waters (Fr., Portland, Ore./St. Mary’s Acadmey) made it a three-goal game (7-4) 66 seconds into the final frame by tossing in a shot with 6:54 left in regulation. Shannon Berry (Fr., Austin, Texas/Westwood) trimmed the deficit down to 7-5 with 6:14 left, but Galasso capped off the Scots’ championship season by completing a hat-trick (4:35) to put a bow on the CWPA Division III Championship title game and season.
Macalester, which has now finished first (2017, 2018, 2019), fourth (2011, 2013, 2014), fifth (2012, 2015), sixth (2010) and seventh (2016) in the history of the league’s Division III Championship, received single goals by Moran and Waters to accompany Mullery and Galasso’s hat-tricks.
Woods keyed the Austin attack with a pair of tallies, while Katusak, Wong and Berry each chipped in solo markers. Goalie Valery Piachonkina (Fr., Castro Valley, Calif./Mission San Jose) took the loss as the “Roos made history by becoming the first women’s water polo varsity team to appear in a conference title game in the inaugural season of the program’s existence.
Following the championship game, the league announced the 2019 CWPA Division III Championship All-Tournament Team as selected by the head coaches of the 10 competing programs:
|2019 Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III Championship All-Tournament Team|
|Most Valuable Player:||Becca Dabrowski (Monmouth College)|
|Rookie of the Tournament:||Lexi Wong (Austin College)|
|Coach of the Tournament:||Mark Lawrence (Austin College)|
|Emma Jeronimus (Goalie)||Carthage College|
|Brooke Le||Austin College|
|Lexi Wong||Austin College|
|Stephania Lopez||Connecticut College|
|Cara Mullery||Macalester College|
|Becca Dabrowski||Monmouth College|
|Savanah Phillips||Wittenberg University|
|Anya Bennett (Goalie)||Wittenberg University|
|Tessa Leatherwood||Grove City College|
|Elizabeth Andrews||Grove City College|
|Lucille Moran||Macalester College|
|Oriana Galasso||Macalester College|
|Maddi Marsh||Carthage College|
|Lauren Wood||Penn State Behrend|
|1st Q||2nd Q||3rd Q||4th Q||–||FINAL|
|No. 10 Austin College||2||0||2||1||–||5|
|No. 8 Macalester College||2||2||2||2||–||8|
|Macalester College:||Cara Mullery (3); Oriana Galasso (3); Lucille Moran; Riley Waters|
|Austin Goals:||Presley Woods (2); Kendall Katusak; Lexi Wong; Shannon Berry|
|Saves:||Macalester – Courtney Overland (14) ; Austin – Valery Piachonkina (8)|
|Exclusions:||Macalester – 5 ; Austin – 9|
|Advantage Opportunities:||Macalester – 2-for-9 ; Austin – 0-for-5|
|Sprints:||Macalester – 2-for-4 (1st, 2nd) ; Austin – 2-for-4 (3rd, 4th)|
|Officials:||Jamie Wolff; Val Vasilchikov|
Macalester College’s Riley Waters (#12) lines up a shot as Austin College’s Presley Woods (#9) closes
Macalester College’s Natalie Hoffman (#11) guards Austin College’s Lexi Wong (#14)
Macalester College’s Lucille Moran (#6) rises to field block a shot by Austin College’s Kendall Katusak (#5)
Macalester College seniors Natalie Hoffman, Courtney Overland & Lucille Moran pose with head coach Scott Reed after claiming the program’s third consecutive Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III Championship
2019 CWPA Division III Championship MVP – Becca Dabrowski (Monmouth College)
2019 CWPA Division III Championship Coach of the Tournament: Mark Lawrence (Austin College)
2019 CWPA Division III Championship Rookie of the Tournament – Lexi Wong (Austin College)