SARATOGA, Calif. - San José State men's water polo traded scores early with #8-Pepperdine but couldn't keep the pace going Friday night, October 28, at West Valley College.
"We started off well and were right there with them," said SJSU head coach Bruce Watson. "We missed a couple power plays again and we didn't get good shots. They got an easy (goal) and it looked like we just deflated."
The Spartans (7-15, 0-3) kept the intensity up early and brought the game within two on an Ivan Stefanovic power-play goal at 4:52 in the second quarter to make the score 5-3. From then on, however, it was the Waves' (11-9, 1-3) night. Pepperdine went on a 6-0 run after Stefanovic's goal and it wasn't until 1:55 left in the third quarter that the Spartans scored again on an Ashley Castle goal to make it 11-4.
"The second quarter killed us," said Watson. "We just lost our enthusiasm and, unfortunately, we lost our fire. First time this season we've done that."
Power plays were a sore spot for the Spartans once again. After going 1-14 on offensive power plays in their last loss, against #18-St. Francis Brooklyn, SJSU went 2-11 against Pepperdine.
"The power play is the last thing that really comes together for teams because it's so complicated," said Watson. "We're young, it's part of the growing process and we've got to keep battling."
One of the bright spots this season for the Spartans has been freshman Ben Hauschild. On Friday night, Hauschild's two steals put him atop the Golden Coast Conference with 27 steals on the season.
"Ben had a good game like he normally does," said Watson. "He has a unique knack for knowing where the ball is going and intercepts passes out of nowhere. He's developing into a solid defender."
The Spartans travel to the Los Angeles area next weekend to take on #6-Long Beach State, #3-USC and #1-UCLA.
Golden Coast Conference Match
West Valley College
Friday, October 28, 2016
#8-Pepperdine vs. San José State - 7:00 p.m.
|San José State||2||1||1||3||7|
SJSU: Ashley Castle, Marc Weber, Tyler Jamieson, Davor Koret, Ben Hauschild, Finn Pardon, Ivan Stefanovic, 1, each.
Pepperdine: Marko Asic, 4; Kenneth Keller, Mate Toth, 2; each, Spencer Lupin, Christian Bridley, Brock Liebhardt, Justin Cowan, Sean Thomas, Mark Urban, Sam Paur, 1, each.
SJSU: Conrad Gordon, 4; Cole Williams 1.
Pepperdine: Philippe Marco, 6; Zack Rhodes, 4.