LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – A day after earning a split against MAAC opponents, the VMI water polo team again split a day of competition by defeating St. Francis (Brooklyn) and falling to No. 17 Wagner Sunday at the Siena Swim Center in Loudonville, New York.
The Keydets (9-4, 2-2) registered a 14-9 victory over the Terriers of St. Francis in a 9 a.m. match and later fell to the 17th-ranked Seahawks of Wagner by a close 8-6 score.
Sophomore goalie Isabel French played a key role in VMI’s win over the Terriers by logging a career-high 22 saves and topping her previous best of 19 from last season. She tied the all-time VMI record for saves in a single match by matching Amanda Berrios’ 22 against Salem International on Feb. 21, 2012 and against La Verne on March 9, 2012.
“I was very pleased with our effort in both games today,” said VMI head coach Ryan Pryor. “Against St. Francis, we did as well offensively as we've done all season. The team executed well on counter attack and showed good patience when they encountered a drop.
“It was a hard fought game against Wagner and I thought we did some really good things defensively. We'll have to clean up some things on the offensive side, but overall I was very happy with how the weekend went.”
Offensively, the Keydets were led by senior Shelby Barkley who logged six goals throughout the match, including three in the third period alone. The feat marks the eighth time of her VMI career she has tallied at least six goals in a match.
Ahead 6-3 at the half, the Keydets matched the Terriers in the third period and outscored them 4-2 in the fourth to preserve the win. Natalie Rivas logged three goals and Emma Noble added two while Sophia DelBondio, Emma Perez and Rebecca Serrano each had one.
No. 17 Wagner 8, VMI 6
The Keydets started hot against the ranked Wagner squad, matching the Seahawks’ three goals in the first period and going ahead 5-4 by the half to provide momentum for the second half.
Wagner managed to take control of the match, however, and scored four goals in the final two periods while allowing VMI only one goal in the third quarter and shutting out the Keydets in the fourth.
Barkley again led the Keydets with three goals while DelBondio, Rivas and Sarah Dolitsky each had one score. French was credited with 12 saves in the loss.
The Keydets return home for their only home matches of the season this Saturday. VMI will face Gannon at 10 a.m. before taking on George Washington at 6 p.m. at Clark King Pool.
The senior class will be honored before the 10 a.m. matchup with Gannon.