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Wahine bounce Loyola, face Trojans in NCAA water polo semifinal


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POSTED: Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hawaii's power-play offense has been a strength this season, while the Rainbow Wahine defense has been suspect when playing a man down.

Yesterday, Hawaii's defense rose to the occasion by defeating Loyola Marymount 11-7 in the NCAA women's water polo tournament quarterfinal at College Park, Md. The win puts the fourth-seeded Rainbow Wahine (19-8) into today's semifinal against top-seeded USC (25-1).

The Trojans routed Cal Lutheran 22-2. In the other quarterfinals, Stanford rolled past Marist 21-5 and UCLA downed Michigan 13-6.

Hawaii gave up just four goals on 16 LMU power plays in the physical contest. The Wahine were two of three on power plays, and also scored on a 5-meter penalty shot, while the Lions had their lone penalty shot blocked by UH goalie Serena Bredin.

Bredin finished with eight saves.

Sophomore 2-meter Leonie Van Der Molen scored four second-half goals, including two in the fourth, as Hawaii outscored LMU 3-0 in the final period.

“;I thought my girls played very, very well,”; Wahine coach Michel Roy said. “;They were composed. They played tactically superior to our opponent.

“;I'm very pleased with how calm we were on offense, how we worked on our plays and we progressed during the game. They played great defense. Our man-down (defense) was solid, most likely the key.”;

Hawaii trailed 4-3 early in the second, but got goals from Dagmar Genee, Ryan Hanson-Swaner and Saara Majuri to take the lead for good at 6-4.

The Lions closed to 8-7 going into the fourth. With both teams down to five players following a double ejection, Hawaii's Lisa van Raalte scored with 5:15 to go.

Van Der Molen scored on a power play 2 minutes later, then finished the scoring with 2:43 remaining.

“;We did a good job of following the game plan and creating six-on-five opportunities,”; LMU coach John Loughran said. “;We were aggressive but just didn't capitalize enough. They got that extra cushion late and we just couldn't close the gap.”;