Claremont, Calif. (May 1, 2012) — Two Pitzer College seniors led the Sagehen Women’s Water Polo team to its fifth SCIAC championship, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Co-captains Anna Oxborough-Yankus ’12 and Perri Hopkins ’12 both stepped up in pivotal moments for the Sagehens to lead the team to the championship. Oxborough-Yankus had the game-winning goal in an 8-7 win over CMS in the semifinals with less than two minutes to play and followed that up with an immediate steal to help kill 35 more seconds off the clock. Meanwhile Hopkins gave Pitzer-Pomona its first lead of the championship match against Redlands in overtime when she scored to put the Sagehens ahead 10-9.
Oxborough-Yankus kept her team in the game early on in the championship game, as she had five of the first six goals for the Sagehens, including all three in the first half. After Redlands built a 6-3 lead in the third quarter, she answered with two more goals to help close the gap to 7-6 after three quarters. Alyssa Woodward ’15 added a fourth-quarter goal to help force the overtime and Mahalia Prater-Fahey PO ’12 ended the game in the third overtime with a sudden-death goal to give the Sagehens a 12-11 win.
“It was a great way to end my career,” said Oxborough-Yankus, who had 10 goals in the SCIAC Tournament. “Winning a championship is a feeling like no other—it still doesn’t feel real.”
The Sagehen Women’s Water Polo team is one of the nation’s premier NCAA DIII programs. Expected to capture its sixth Division III title this spring, the team won its first SCIAC conference championship in 2004 and is consistently ranked in the top five nationally among Division III schools.
This season, the Sagehens won 11 matches in a row and finished the SCIAC undefeated (10-0 including regular season and postseason, with five of the wins coming in overtime). Pitzer-Pomona moves on to the NCAA Championships at San Diego State where they will face top-ranked Stanford in the first round on Friday, May 11 at 3:30 p.m.
About Sagehen Athletics
Pitzer College joins with Pomona College to field 21 varsity teams – The Sagehens – that compete in Division III NCAA athletics and as members of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). There are 10 men’s and 11 women’s teams: baseball (men), basketball, cross country, football (men), golf, lacrosse (women), soccer, softball (women), swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball (women) and water polo.