Lions Lead Canadians to Semifinals
Trio of women's water polo players lead Canadian National Team to 2005 World Aquatic Championship semifinals.
July 27, 2005
Story courtesy of Water Polo Canada
MONTREAL - Loyola Marymount University junior Rachel Riddell made nine saves on 15 shots to lift Canada to a thrilling 8-6 victory over Greece, the Olympic silver medalists, in quarterfinal action in women's water polo at the 2005 World Aquatic Championships on Monday night. Ann Dow of Montreal and Susan Gardiner of Vancouver scored in the second overtime period for the win.
The Canadians now face Hungary in one of two semifinals on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. at parc Jean-Drapeau. Riddell, a two-time All-American for the Lions, is one of three current LMU players on the Canadian National Team. Sophomores Christine Robinson and Rosanna Tomiuk are on the squad with Riddell. The trio helped lead the Lions to their fifth straight Western Water Polo Association Championship this past May.
"We're super excited," said Gardiner, who scored the first and last goal of the game. "We came in confident because we had beaten the Greeks twice in the World League but they came out stronger than we've seen them in the past. But once we calmed down and went back to what we do best the momentum change and we kept scoring goals."
After Gardiner's opening goal, the Greeks built a 5-1 lead early in the second quarter at which point head coach Patrick Oaten called a time out.
"It was a character win and to come back from four goals down is huge for us," said Oaten. "With the time out I just told them we've been in bigger holes than this. I just told them to step back and take one goal at a time. It just shows that this team is not going to quit but keep fighting and fighting until we reach our objective."
"We started off a little slow but we're capable of coming back and have shown that many times," added the Canadian goaltender Riddell of Vancouver, once again sensational in the Canadian win. "The reason we're here is we want to win and get the gold."
After the time out, Canada closed the gap with goals late in the first half by Marie-Luc Arpin of St-Lambert, Que., and Dominique Perreault of Montreal. In the third Ann Dow of Montreal and Krystina Alogbo tied the game at 5-5, which set the stage for an exciting fourth quarter for a loud crowd that nearly packed the water polo venue.
The Greeks took a 6-5 lead early in the fourth but 25 seconds later Valerie Dionne of Ste-Foy, Que., tied it again. After Canada hit the crossbar twice, Riddell made two great saves late in the game to keep the game tied at 6-6.
In water polo, there are two full three-minute overtime periods. If the score stays tied, it goes to a shootout.
After a scoreless first overtime, Dow scored with 2:50 left then Gardiner clinched it with her trademark backhand with 0:41 seconds left.
While she didn't appear on the score sheet, co-captain Cora Campbell of Calgary was a dominant player with her ball control and precise passing. She set up at four of the Canadian goals.
- GO LIONS -