Eggens sisters help Canada to bronze

Monika and Carmen Eggens both scored goals in the 10-6 win over China, as Canada finished with a 3-2-1 record at the tournament.

staff reporter

Maple Ridge’s Eggens sisters helped Team Canada to a bronze-medal-finish at the Pan Pacific Women’s Water Polo Championships in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday with a 10-6 victory over China, the No. 2-ranked team in the world.

Monika and Carmen Eggens both scored goals in the win, as Canada finished with a 3-2-1 record at the tournament.

“I’m happy with the way the game went. We started off pretty well, the girls stuck to the game plan,” said Canada’s head coach, Patrick Oaten. “We’ve been working on our defensive structures, and we’ve still got to get better, but it has improved and we’ll keep working on it.’’

Team Canada was ranked No. 8 in the world going into the tournament. Australia won the gold medal, defeating the U.S. 7-4 in the final.

China scored on the first play of the game, with a powerful strike from outside the five-metre mark. Canada responded with a relentless attack on the Chinese defence before eventually netting a pair of goals to take the lead.

Team Canada continued to apply offensive pressure in the second period, with Krystina Alogbo netting her second goal of the game to put Canada up 7-4 at the end of the period.

Each team only managed a goal apiece in the third frame allowing the Canadians to take an 8-5 lead into the last period.

The final frame saw both teams struggle to score early, but strong play by keeper Rachel Riddell of Victoria helped keep Canada in the lead and clinch the win.

The Eggens sisters are both graduates of Pitt Meadows secondary and both play for the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors NCAA Division 1 water polo program. Monika, who plays attack, is a junior at the school, and has scored 151 goals in 82 games. Carmen is a senior utility player with 153 goals in 109 games.

Both sisters are hoping to make the roster for the Canadian Olympic team competing at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

“We’ve still got to go through the final selection for our Olympic qualifiers and we’ll look at the videos to see what we did and didn’t like, so we can make our selections in the next few weeks,” said Oaten.