Ravens News

WWP: 2017 Women’s National Collegiate Water Polo Championship – Carleton earns bronze, Toronto captures fifth consecutive championship title

Written by Carleton Sports Information

Photo by Carleton Athletics

The 2017 Women’s National Collegiate Water Polo Championship is being hosted by Carleton University from November 24-26 at Alumni Hall.

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This tournament is not a ticketed event and will be open to the public who can view the games from the stands that can be accessed via the 3rd floor of Athletics.

2017 Women’s NCWP Championship Seedings:
1. Toronto
2. McMaster
3. Carleton
4. Queen’s
5. uOttawa
6. Guelph

2017 Women’s NCWP Championship – Schedule and Scores:

Date Time Game Team A Score Team B Score
Fri. Nov. 24 5:30 PM (QF) W1 Carleton  16 Guelph 2
6:50 PM (QF) W2 Queen’s  8 uOttawa 13
Sat. Nov. 25 1:00 PM (SF) W4 Carleton  2 McMaster 5
2:20 PM (SF) W5 uOttawa  5 Toronto 13
7:40 PM (Cons. Fin) W3 Queen’s  13 Guelph 2
Sun. Nov. 26 9:30 AM (Bronze) W6 Carleton  8 uOttawa 6
12:30 PM (Gold) W7 McMaster  2 Toronto 11

2017 Women’s NCWP Championship – Recaps:
Written by Martin Boyce, Carleton Sports Information

Day 1 – Friday, November 24

The Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees opened up the 2017 Women’s National Collegiate Water Polo Championships with wins over the Guelph Gryphons and Queen’s Gaels respectively on Friday night at Alumni Hall. Carleton cruised to victory while Ottawa withstood a late push from Queen’s to secure their win.

Carleton 16, Guelph 2

The Ravens opened up the 2017 Championship in grand fashion against the Gryphons, dominating from the get-go. Led by Rachel Howes’ six goals, Carleton drowned Guelph 16-2. Rachel Wilson joined Howes’ goal-scoring frenzy with four of her own, while five other ravens got on the score sheet.

With Carleton up 5-0 midway through the second period, Harmonie Standen was finally able to get Guelph on the board for her first of two on the evening. From there, the Ravens domination began, with six uncontested goals to close out the half leading 11-1. Already with a commanding lead, Carleton outscored Guelph the remainder of the game to solidify the 16-2 victory.

Carleton now advance to the semifinal round where they will take on the second-seeded McMaster Marauders on Saturday at 1 p.m. Guelph will battle Queen’s for fifth place at 7:40 p.m.

“It’s nice to play at home in front of the home crowd, so I think the girls will be pretty excited to play tomorrow,” said head coach Zoltan Csepregi. “The keys tomorrow will be just to play disciplined water polo, help each other and to communicate – which is what we’ve been telling them all year. I think if the girls play the way they can, we should have a good result.”

uOttawa 13, Queen’s 8
The Gee-Gees got off to a quick start against the higher-ranked Gaels, holding a 7-2 lead through the first two periods. Queen’s rebounded to match Ottawa the rest of the way, but it was already too late. The early five-goal deficit proved insurmountable as the Gee-Gees prevailed 13-8.

Ottawa earned the victory thanks in great part to Danielle Hirsh, who notched five of her team’s 13 goals. Queen’s supplied their offence with a balanced attack from six different players.

With the win, Ottawa advances to the semifinals against the top-seeded Toronto Varsity Blues at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday. Queen’s will meet Guelph in the fifth place game at 7:40 p.m.

Day 2 – Saturday, November 25

The McMaster Marauders and Toronto Varsity Blues booked their ticket to the gold medal match of the 2017 Women’s National Collegiate Water Polo Championships with two vastly different semifinal wins over the Carleton Ravens and uOttawa Gee-Gees, respectively, on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall.

McMaster 5, Carleton 2

It was a defensive battle with title hopes on the line for both teams, but the Marauders outlasted the Ravens 5-2. Both goaltenders – Katherine Allerton (Carleton) and Betty Spurgeon (McMaster) – did well to minimize damages, making multiple clutch saves each. McMaster’s Rebecca Gysbers led all scorers with two goals while Rachel Howes and Rachel Wilson split Carleton’s tally.

Carleton got on the board first but McMaster quickly retaliated with four straight, before conceding another late in the second period. Already leading 4-2 to start the third, the Marauders extended their slim lead by one. Both teams were silent in the fourth, solidifying the 5-2 Marauders victory.

“It was a good game, it was a tough game, it was a hard game. Those are the kinds of games you want to play,” said Ravens head coach Zoltan Csepregi. “I think it came down to shooting the ball well and I don’t think we did that today – and also our man advantage.”

With the win, which was the lowest scoring game of the championship yet, McMaster will tussle with Toronto for glory on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Carleton will fight crosstown rival Ottawa for third place at 9:30 a.m.

Toronto 13, uOttawa 5
The Varsity Blues came flying out of the gate with two goals in the first minute of play, before adding six more and giving up one for a daunting 8-1 lead at the half. The scoring onslaught slowed down but Toronto still picked up five more to eventually take the semifinal game 13-3 in dominant fashion.

The Varsity Blues’ strong offence was led by assistant captain Ana Miroslavic, who fired home five goals on the afternoon. Four others completed the 13-goal Toronto haul while three Gee-Gees tallied one a piece.

Toronto will be looking for its fourth title in as many years against McMaster at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Carleton will meet uOttawa in the bronze medal game at 9:30 a.m.

Queen’s 13, Guelph 3
Consolation Final

Day 3 – Sunday, November 26

For the fifth consecutive year, the Toronto Varsity Blues are Women’s National Collegiate Water Polo champions, having defeated the McMaster Marauders 11-2 on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall. The Carleton Ravens downed the uOttawa Gee-Gees in the third-place game to take home bronze.

Carleton 8, uOttawa 6
Bronze Medal Game

Carleton outlasted its crosstown rival, uOttawa, 8-6 thanks to a four-goal performance from Branka Trajkovic to capture a bronze medal.

It was a relatively tame first period but the Ravens broke out to an early 2-0 lead. They added two more in the second before the Gee-Gees returned aggressively but were repeatedly stalled by Carleton’s Katherine Allerton in net, holding them to only one.

Already holding a 4-1 lead, the Ravens had room to breathe in the third. It came in handy as uOttawa fired three into the net, compared to Carleton’s two. The Ravens sealed the deal in the fourth, however, eventually winning 8-6.

“It’s nice to get a medal in our own tournament – although, it’d be nice to play for the gold. I’m very happy with the ladies’ effort this weekend,” said head coach Zoltan Csepregi. “I think there are a lot of things to build on. We got bronze last year, we’ve got bronze this year so now we have to take it to that next level so that we can compete for that gold medal. That’s our objective every year.”

Toronto 11, McMaster 2
Gold Medal Game

Toronto has won five of the last eight championship games while McMaster has been sitting on a drought of 12 years. The two top-ranked teams met to decide who would lift the Championship Trophy in 2017.

Almost immediately to start the game, the Varsity Blues got on the board. After failing to gain possession off the bat, they quickly recovered the ball and Ana Miroslavic found a hole alone up front. She swam the ball up and speared a bounce past Marauders goalie Betty Spurgeon to kick off the game.

The game continued with back-and-forth action after the initial mark until midway through the first. Toronto’s offence picked up, tallying three more for a 4-0 lead at the break.

McMaster did well to limit the damage to begin the second period but Toronto was back at it again midway through as Rhianna Wood broke loose for a breakaway. Wood nicely faked out Spurgeon to deliver a fifth goal for the Varsity Blues. They added one more before captain Jordan Brydges got the Marauders on the board in the dying seconds to make it 6-1.

The Varsity Blues tallied three back-to-back-to-back goals within a minute of each other in the third to cement a commanding lead. McMaster prevented any more damage and held down the 9-1 score to end the period.

McMaster tallied a second goal that was retaliated with two Toronto goals to complete an 11-2 gold-medal victory for the Varsity Blues. Miroslavic led the Toronto offensive charge with three goals on the afternoon. Five other Varsity Blues got on the score sheet as well.

“We’re not nearly as experienced as Toronto so we knew if we we’re going to beat them we’d have to play our best possible game and they’d have to have an off day,” said McMaster head coach Andy Duffield. “Our job was to try and influence that and we couldn’t quite get it done today – but I’m really proud of the girls.”

The Varsity Blues captured their 7th NCWP banner and fourth in as many years with the 11-2 win. “The fact that we only gave up three goals and then two goals says that our defence was playing according to what we wanted them to do,” said Toronto head coach George Gross Jr., underlining the role the team’s strong recruitment process has played in its performance. “They stuck to the strategy and that’s important to any team concept.”

“We’re happy about the fact that our team came out and won, but also the fact that McMaster, uOttawa, Queen’s and Carleton are involved in women’s water polo at the university level because we want to grow the sport.”

Most Valuable Player – Ana Miroslavic – Toronto Varsity Blues
Most Valuable Goaltender – Rachael Jaffe – Toronto Varsity Blues
Coach of the Year – Andy Duffield – McMaster Marauders

Caitlin Neapole – Queen’s University
Danielle Hirsch – University of Ottawa
Rachel Howes – Carleton University
Jordan Brydges – McMaster University
Jillian Stringer – McMaster University
Kassie Fraser – University of Toronto
Ali Kraft – University of Toronto