STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – It all came down to the final game of the season on Sunday to decide the water polo regular season champion in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Marist fell to Wagner 8-6 in a thrilling overtime game following a 13-6 Red Foxes victory over Villanova.
In a three-team tiebreaker for first place, Wagner took the top seed for the upcoming MAAC Tournament while Iona took second and Marist fell to third. Since Marist had defeated Iona twice, Iona had defeated Wagner twice and Wagner defeated Marist twice, the tiebreaker came down to goal differential in the games played between the three teams. Wagner came out on top with a plus-one goal differential while Iona was even and Marist was minus-one.
GAME ONE: MARIST 13 – VILLANOVA 6
A day after scoring 12 goals in two games, Jessica Hamby (Sacramento, Calif.) continued her hot play with a team-high four goals and drew two ejections. Yuriria Chavez (Chicago, Ill.) had six points on three goals and three assists. Anna -Lena Hathaway (Pasadena, Calif.) scored two goals, had two assists and made a team-high six steals. Shelby Rinker (Lansdale, Pa.) had a goal, two assists and four steals and Robyn Crabtree (Cutler Bay, Fla.) and Brooke Else (Lansdale, Pa.) each had two points. Rebecca Thomas (Cape Town, South Africa) made six saves and two steals in net.
GAME TWO: WAGNER 8 - MARIST 6 OT
In the game to decide the regular season championship, the two teams did not disappoint as neither team led by more than one throughout regulation.
Chavez had two goals and an assist and Ellie Hoffman (Pasadena, Calif.) had a goal and an assist. Hamby, Rinker and Hannah Levien (Davis, Calif.) all also scored single goals while Thomas made 14 saves in goal.
Chavez gave Marist a 1-0 lead in the first quarter, but Wagner outscored the Red Foxes 4-3 in the second quarter to even the game up at 4-4 at halftime. Hamby, Levien and Rinker all scored in the second quarter for the Red Foxes.
Hoffman and Chavez traded goals with Wagner in the second half, each team scoring once in each quarter as the teams remained knotted up, going into overtime tied at six.
Wagner scored once in each of the overtime periods to provide the final 8-6 margin.
Marist finished the regular season with a 24-11 overall record and a 10-2 mark in the MAAC. The Red Foxes will play Iona in the second semifinal of the MAAC Tournament on Saturday, April 27 at 3 p.m. Wagner will play the fourth seed, Villanova, in the first semifinal at 1 p.m. The consolation and championship game will take place on Sunday, April 28 and all four games will be played at Marist’s McCann Natatorium.