LEXINGTON, Va. - Hosting for the first time this season, the VMI women's water polo team used a high-scoring first half and strong defensive effort in the second half to defeat George Washington by a 14-10 score Saturday evening at Clark King Pool.
Trailing by a slim 5-4 margin after the first period, the Keydets went on the offensive in the second quarter to outscore the Colonials, 5-2, to go into the break with a 9-7 advantage. Natalie Rivas struck first for VMI in the second period followed by Haley Scott moments later. With 3:30 on the clock before intermission, VMI scored three quick goals to gain some momentum heading into the second half. Keydets Sophia DelBondio, Rebecca Serrano and Scott registered the goals for VMI.
"I was really pleased with our defensive effort tonight," said VMI head coach Ryan Pryor. "Our communication was very good and after the first quarter we really settled in. Thanks to the corps for giving us a great home atmosphere."
The teams traded barbs in the third period as both scored three goals apiece to enter the final period with the Keydets up, 12-10. Keydets Madison Curran, Cecilya Lundy and DelBondio earned the goals for VMI while Scarlett Hallahan and Jacqueline Bywater tallied the scores for the Colonials.
VMI amped up its defense in the final period to hold the Colonials without a goal while scoring twice itself to ensure the win. Shelby Barkley and Emma Noble logged the insurance goals for the Keydets. VMI freshman keeper Isabel French earned the win in a complete game registering 12 saves and a steal while GWU's Katherine Moeller picked up the loss having allowed 11 goals in the first half.
The Keydets return to action next weekend as they travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the George Washington Invitational. VMI faces the Colonials again Friday at 4 p.m. and Mercyhurst at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the Keydets take on Gannon at 1 p.m. and Saint Francis at 6 p.m.