PHILADELPHIA – The VMI water polo team split its first day of competition in Philadelphia by claiming a 12-6 win over Siena in the afternoon before falling to No. 24 Marist in the nightcap, 12-5, Saturday at Villanova’s Kirk Pool.
Shy by just one goal, senior center Shelby Barkley broke VMI’s program record for goals in a single season (93 by Celine Lazzaro, 2013) by notching three against Siena to give her 95 for the year. She would add three more against Marist in the evening to bring her season total to 98.
As expected from the conference standings, VMI’s Sunday afternoon matchup with Villanova will likely decide the fourth and final spot to qualify for the MAAC Tournament in two weeks.
Ahead 4-2 after the first period, the Keydets (19-10, 7-6) pulled away from the Saints in the second by scoring five unanswered goals to yield a 9-2 advantage at the half. The Keydets kept Siena at bay throughout the second half to pull out the victory.
Caroline Wojtas also logged three goals in the match while Sophia DelBondio, Natalie Rivas and Sarah Dolitsky all scored a pair of goals throughout the game.
Goalies Catie Berry and Isabel French earned 10 and four saves, respectively.
No. 24 Marist 12, VMI 5
The Keydets kept pace with the Red Foxes the entire match down by just a goal after one quarter and trailed 6-4 at the break, but Marist pulled away late by notching five goals in the fourth period to earn the win.
Barkley led VMI with her three goals while Rivas and Dolitsky scored the other two.
VMI and Villanova face off at 12 p.m. Sunday afternoon hosted by La Salle.