Regals Win Two to Close Out Tina Finali Invitational; Meyer Makes History
CLU drops St. Francis College, St. Francis University
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – With clouds covering the Samuelson Aquatics Center and intermittent rains falling down before the sun broke on a brisk day, the Cal Lutheran women’s water polo team was not deterred as the Regals earned two victories to go 3-2 on the weekend at the Third Annual Tina Finali Invitational. Today, CLU defeated St. Francis College (N.Y.) 8-4 in the morning and St. Francis University (Pa.) 10-4 in the final contest of the 19-game tournament.
On a cold dreary morning, Nikki Roed heated up with a hat-trick in the first five minutes to set the tone for the game and day. CLU held a 3-1 advantage at the end of the first and extended the gap to 6-1 by halftime. Victoria Rose Meek netted the next two and Christin Hirn added one as well.
After the break, Meek made it a hat-trick of her own as CLU went up 7-3 with 1:52 to play in the third and Erin Cunefare got in on the action early in the fourth for the final scoring play of the contest.
Roed also handed out a pair of assists and drew a team-high four ejections as Kristi McGee dished out two assists. Eight players teamed up for a total of 16 drawn ejections with three from Meet and two apiece from Hirn, Megan Seeman and Sam Wulfestieg.
Defense was solid as the Regals recorded seven field blocks from seven different players including Hirn, McGee, Wulfestieg, Nicole Guerriero, Mackenzie Thomas, Remy Wilkison and Logan Young. Goalkeeper Bailey Meyer had 14 saves in the win.
In the final game of the weekend, the defense continued to shine. Young showcased her versatility with four more field blocks and Meyer notched a Cal Lutheran single-game record 18 saves, one more than Gina Merry’s 17 against Virginia Military Institute in the 2014 season.
CLU spread out the offense again with seven players scoring the 10 goals, led by the second hat-trick of the day for freshman Meek. The Regals opened a 3-1 lead in the first quarter with McGee, Cunefare and Meek scoring the first three of the game, respectively, with Roed continuing to produce with a pair in the second, including a five-meter goal, to help CLU to a 5-1 halftime lead.
After the break, first-year program, SFU chipped away, exchanging three goals with the Regals, but the lead the home team had developed was safe. In the final frame of the weekend, CLU held St. Francis scoreless with more stellar defense and Hirn and Thomasboth found the back of the net to add cushion to the scoreboard.
Cal Lutheran (4-4) returns to the water on Friday, March 3 to play Loyola Marymount in a make-up game from a rain out on Feb. 17. The teams will play at CLU after originally being scheduled to play at LMU. First sprint is set for 4:00 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 8, SFC 4
Box Score: CLU 10. SFU 4
Tournament Central: 2017 Tina Finali Invitational
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