Stanford, Calif.----- The San José State University women's water polo team finished sixth out of eight teams at the Stanford Invitational after second-day losses to #1-ranked Stanford, 11-8, and #8-ranked Hawaii, 12-10 in overtime.
For the #7-ranked Spartans (9-3), they concluded their toughest test of the season to date with a win over #18-UC Davis and three losses to top-10 ranked opponents.
"We learned the small things matter. You make a little mistake here and there against any of the top-20 teams in the nation and it will be costly. Our team has to make sure it can execute and finish those small opportunities," said San José State head coach Johnny Bega.
The final day of the Stanford Invitational started slowly against host and defending NCAA champion Stanford. San José State trailed, 6-1, at the 1:57 mark of the first quarter before getting in gear offensively. The Spartans outscored the Cardinal, 6-5, over the final three periods, and matched their highest goal-scoring total ever against Stanford. The 11-8 final three-goal differential also was the smallest between the two teams since a 9-8 loss in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action in 2008.
Bianca Seyfert, the Spartans' leading scorer on the day, notched the first of her two three-goal "hat tricks" on the day. She finished the Invitational with nine goals. Dani Styles and Rae Lekness each added a pair of goals in the second half.
Like the Stanford match, only four San José State players scored in the overtime loss to Hawaii. Seyfert's third goal against the Rainbow Wahine gave the Spartans a 9-8 lead with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter. Timi Molnar's third goal of the match at 3:02 put San José State ahead, 10-8, for the Spartans' final score of the day.
Hawaii's Choloe Barr sent the match into over time with a goal at 0:53 of regulation and put her team ahead for good with the first goal in the first overtime on a power play.
The Spartans played the final two-and-a-half quarters and the two overtime periods with Clara Espar Llaquet who picked up her third and final personal foul with 3:27 remaining in the second quarter. Espar Llaquet helped stake San José State to a 4-2 first-quarter lead with three goals on just four shot attempts.
"We showed heart and desire to play as a team. Clara was ejected early. A lot of players stepped up and did a nice job for us," the Spartans coach said about the Hawaii contest.
The Spartans maintained their early lead until Paula Chillida Esforzado tied the match at 7-7 midway through the third-quarter.
After playing 14 matches, two of which were exhibition matches against foreign touring teams, the first three weeks of the season, San José State has two weekends off before returning to action in the 16-team UC Irvine Invitational, February 21 & 22.
Stanford Invitational Women's Water Polo Tournament
Avery Aquatics Complex, Stanford, Calif.
February 1, 2015
|Match 13 - Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||OT||OT||Total|
|#7-San José State (9-3)||4||2||2||2||0||0||10|
Hawaii - Chloe Barr, 3; Paula Chillida Esforzado, Zoe Respondek, Claire Nixon, 2, each; Gabi Mantekkato Dias, Caity Lopes Da Silva, Emily Carr, 1, each.
Hawaii - Sarah Logan, 8.
San José State - Katelynn Thompson, 6.
Hawaii - 10.
San José State - 10.
|Match 9 - Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|#7 -San José State (9-2)||2||2||2||2||8|
Stanford - Jamie Neushul, Maggie Steffens, 2; each Dani Jackovich, Katie Dudley, Jordan Raney, Ashley Grossman, Kiley Neushul, Anna Yelizarova, Rachel Johnson, 1, each.
San José State - Katelynn Thompson, 9.
Stanford - Gabby Stone, 6.
San José State - 6.
Stanford - 12.