Stanford, Calif.----- A strong San Jose State University defensive effort in an 11-6 win over #15-Loyola Marymount University (LMU) was offset by a poor start in a 17-8 loss to #1-Stanford on the first day of the Stanford Invitational women's water polo tournament.
"It was a good day, I thought. We played a lot of players a lot of minutes which was really good. We played all four quarters in the first match (vs. LMU) and got better and better each quarter," said Spartans head coach Johnny Bega.
In its first match of the eight-team tournament, #8-ranked Spartans (6-4) blanked LMU (2-2) for 14:36 from the end of the first quarter until late in the third for the victory. During that time, San Jose State responded with five unanswered goals. Junior Cara Robinson scored twice in the third quarter as the Spartans pulled away from the Lions.
Freshman Alicia Magliocco was credited with eight saves in her first start of the season in goal for San Jose State. LMU had averaged 18.5 goals in its first two matches of the season.
Rae Lekness scored three of her five goals on the day in the Loyola Marymount win to lead the Spartan scorers.
"We rely on our defense to get stops, get down the pool, be patient and score," Bega added.
San Jose State's hopes to avenge a 10-5 loss to #1-Stanford earlier in the season were dashed by seven first-quarter goals for a 7-2 Cardinal lead. Anna Yelizarova, one of four Stanford players to three goals against the Spartans, found the cage twice in the first quarter.
"We made mistakes (in the first quarter) and they capitalized. If that happens to us against a team like Stanford, we're done. That's pretty much what happened. If we had a great first quarter against them, then we would have been right there," the Spartans coach said about the team's second non-conference loss to the defending NCAA champions this season.
"We played one quarter (the third quarter) in that game. You can't play just one quarter against Stanford and expect to win."
San Jose State closed to 11-7 at 3:42 in the third quarter on a Carla Toha Vilanova goal to culminate four unanswered Spartan goals in the period. Toha Vilanova topped San Jose State in scoring with three.
Magliocco and Tayler Peters split the goalkeeping duties against Stanford. Magliocco was credited with one save in the first half; Peters, with three in the second half. Stanford goalkeeper Julia Hermann made a career-high 17 saves.
San Jose State takes on #7-Michigan (8-3) and an opponent to be determined on the final day of the Stanford Invitational on February 7. The Spartans lost to the Wolverines, 18-9, on January 24 in the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invite.
Stanford Invitational women's water polo tournament
February 6, 2016
Avery Aquatics Stadium & Belardi Pool
|#15-Loyola Marymount (2-1)||3||0||1||2||6|
|#8 San Jose State (6-3)||3||2||4||2||11|
Loyola Marymount -- Kingsley Hill, Ivana Castro, Annika Armstrong, Hana Vilanova, Caitlin Schaefer, Morgan Molloy, 1, each.
Loyola Marymount -- Jacqueline Verdugo, 4.
San Jose State -- Alicia Magliocco, 8.
Loyola Marymount -13.
San Jose State -- 15.
|#8-San Jose State (6-4)||2||2||4||0||8|
Stanford -- Anna Yelizarova, Jamie Neushul, Kat Klass, Shannon Cleary, 3, each; Sophia Monahan, Dani Jackovich, Lauren Norheim, Gurpreet Sohi, Jordan Raney, 1, each.
Stanford -- Julia Hermann, 17.
San Jose State -- 9.
Stanford -- 5.