Spartans 10th At UC Irvine Invite After 10-9 Win Over #6-Hawai'i

Timi Molnar moved into fifth place on the school's career scoring list with her eight goals in the UC Irvine Invitational.

Feb. 23, 2014

Newport Beach, Calif.-----The San Jose State University women's water polo team defeated its highest-ranked opponent in three years with an 10-9 victory over #6-Hawaii to open final day's play at the UC Irvine Invitational.

The #11-ranked Spartans (13-7) finished 10th in the 16-team tournament losing to #8-ranked Loyola Marymount, 13-12, in overtime in its final match of the day.

"The Hawaii win was a great team win," said San Jose State interim head coach Johnny Bega. The last time a Spartan team beat a team ranked sixth or higher was an 11-9 win over #5-ranked Hawaii on April 29, 2011, in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championship quarterfinal round. "(Against Hawaii) We had six different players that scored and our defense was much stronger.

"Overall, we continue to improve tremendously as a team. We have more people scoring and everyone is contributing on offense. Still, we're taking a lot of shots that we're not converting and our defense has got to take care of business. It's very hard to win when the other team scores 13 goals."

In the Hawaii win, freshman Clara Espar Llaquet led the #11-ranked Spartans (13-6) in scoring with three goals. Co-captain Timi Molnar and Victoria Smithadded two each. Smith's first-quarter goal at the 3:27 mark broke a 2-2 tie and San Jose State led the rest of the way.

Coming off a school-record tying eight goals in the Pacific win a day earlier, sophomore Rae Lekness hit the 50-goal mark for the season with a score against the Rainbow Wahine (6-4). Bianca Seyfert and Rachel Henryaccounted for the rest of the Spartans' scoring.

Maddie Reardonwas credited with eight saves in San Jose State's second win in the four-match tournament. The win over Hawaii avenges a 12-11 loss at the Stanford Invitational.

Espar Llaquet with seven goals on the day and 11 in the tournament was the Spartans' top scorer against Loyola Marymount (8-4) with four. Looking to even up the season series with the Lions at 1-1 after a 12-7 loss at the Gaucho Invitational in January, San Jose State had a pair of two-goal leads in the second quarter and a 7-6 halftime edge.

The Spartans had a pair of one-goal advantages in the fourth quarter on goals by Smith and Lekness, but Loyola Marymount's Laura Lopez tied the match at 11-11 with 1:22 remaining. Two-time All-American Alexandra Honny's two goals in the first overtime proved to be the difference. Honny finished with six goals in the match. Smith tossed in San Jose State's one score in the overtime with 41 seconds left in the match for the last goal of the contest.

San Jose State opens MPSF action, Saturday, March 1, hosting Stanford in the Spartans' home opener at The Aquatics Center in a noon match.

UC Irvine Invitational women's water polo tournament
Newport Beach, Calif.
February 23, 2014

Game 18

1 2 3 4 Total
#11-San Jose State (13-6) 3 2 2 3 10
#6-Hawaii (6-4) 2 0 3 4 9

Goal scoring

San Jose State - Clara Espar Llaquet, 3; Timi Molnar, Victoria Smith, 2, each; Rae Lekness, Bianca Seyfert, Rachel Henry, 1, each.

Hawaii - Danielle Lewis, Paula Chillida Esforzado, 2, each; Taylor Molde, Caity Lopes da Silva, Emily Carr, Claire Nixon, Chloe Barr, 1, each.

Goalkeeper saves

San Jose State - Maddie Reardon, 8.

Hawaii - Amy Carlson, 4.


San Jose State - 9

Hawaii - 10

Game 25 - 9th place game

1 2 3 4 1OT 2OT Total
#11-San Jose State (13-7) 3 4 2 2 0 1 12
#8-Loyola Marymount (8-4) 3 3 3 2 2 0 13

Goal Scoring

San Jose State - Clara Espar Llaquet, 4; Timi Molnar, Rae Lekness, Victoria Smith, 2, each; Bianca Seyfert, Rachel Henry, 1, each.

Loyola Marymount - Alexnadra Honny, 6; Ivana Castro, 3; Laura Lopez, Bridgette Alvarez, Mackenzie Beck, Kingsley Hill, 1, each.

Goalkeeper Saves

San Jose State - Maddie Reardon, 6.

Loyola Marymount - Jordan White - 6.


San Jose State - 16.

Loyola Marymount - 10.