Photo by Michael Wong
REDLANDS, Calif. (Apr. 23, 2016) – Caltech women's water polo capped a season in which the program took major strides forward at the SCIAC Championships in Redlands this past Friday and Saturday.
Multiple Beavers recorded historic seasons in leading the new-look squad to a program-record-tying three wins and significant statistical improvements across the board. Junior Mary Boyajian (Sun Valley, Calif. / Village Christian) claimed the single-season record for assists with 34, while freshman Brittany Percin (Moraga, Calif. / Stanford Online) scored the second-most goals in program history with 52 – just four shy of the record despite missing the team's first four games as she won the women's swimming & diving 200 Freestyle. A record five Beavers scored double-digit goals, with three – Percin, senior Soumya Kannan (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M Gunn) and freshman Katie Johnston (Livermore, Calif. / Livermore) – cracking the top-10 in single-season history. Kannan and Johnson also drew a potential-record 58 and 47 exclusions, respectively, with Kannan also notching 50 steals and 23 assists while Johnston added 30 assists.
Caltech 7, Occidental 16
Oxy jumped in front 7-0 after the first quarter before the Beavers matched the Tigers goal-for-goal in the second quarter to trail by seven at halftime. Another big quarter put the Tigers in front by five more before a late four-goal Caltech rally closed the gap to the final of nine. Kannan paced the Beavers with her fifth hat trick as she converted all three attempts, while senior Stephanie Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) also put away two of her three attempts. Percin rounded out the scoring with another brace and added an assist, with Boyajian tallying a pair as well and junior Sasha Zemsky (Mount Kisco, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) notching one. Johnston posted an all-around line of one assist, three steals and two drawn exclusions.
Caltech 3, Cal Lutheran 16
The Beavers found themselves in another early hole against the Regals, trailing 6-1 after the first quarter and 9-1 at halftime. Percin would net another pair of goals while Wong chipped in a third. Johnston contributed two assists and two steals while Kannan tallied four steals. Percin also made two steals, drew two exclusions and won all four sprints for her eighth perfect mark of the season in the finale.
As a team, Head Coach Jon Bonafede's Beavers scored a whopping 96 more goals than the previous season, converting shots almost twice as often and generating an additional 176 attempts. An additional 13 percent of those goals were assisted this spring, along with the offense drawing 57 more exclusions and committing 36 fewer turnovers. The defense improved tremendously as well, forcing 78 more steals and making 36 more field blocks, while freshman Elise Cutts (Portland, Ore. / Sunset) made 168 saves at a 40 percent clip Wong chipped in with 55 saves at a 37 percent rate.