San Diego, Calif.----- Donia Momen scored the game-winning goal with 0:15 remaining in the fourth quarter giving San Jose State University a 4-3 win over Indiana University at the Aztec Invitational women's water polo tournament.
The #12-ranked Spartans (7-12) played a pair of matches to one-goal decisions on the first day of the weekend tournament. San Jose State lost to #17-San Diego State, 8-7, in its afternoon match.
"We didn't play well in either match. We played a good defensive game in the first game, but we are not finishing our opportunities and focusing on the right things," said San Jose State head coach Gabor Sarusi.
Momen notched her second fourth-quarter, game-winning goal in the last three weeks against Indiana and extended her streak of consecutive matches scoring a goal to seven.
For the Spartans, they ended Indiana's nine-match winning streak. It was the second time in five matches the team yielded five or fewer goals to a top-20 ranked opponent.
Katelynn Thompson started in goal for San Jose State and was credited with seven saves before fouling out at 3:06 left in the third quarter. Tayler Peters replaced Thompson and made four important saves in the fourth quarter for the win.
"Tayler did really, really well. She stepped up big," the Spartans coach said about Peters' play the final 11 minutes of the second half.
San Diego State (6-7) quelled San Jose State's quest to finish the first day's play unbeaten with a game-winning goal by Iole Benekou with 3:07 remaining in regulation play. Benekou scored five times to lead all players. Three of her goals put the Aztecs ahead by one including the game-winner.
"We didn't execute our game plan defensively," said Sarusi. The Spartans never led and had to overcome a quick 2-0 San Diego State lead to stay in the match.
Carla Toha Vilanova, San Jose State's leading scorer for the season, ended a three-match scoring drought with a team-high four goals against San Diego State. She and Vanessa Elgohary each had a chance in the final minute to send the match with the Aztecs into overtime, but were unable to convert their shots into a goal.
Momen stretched her consecutive match scoring streak to eight with two goals against San Diego State. McKenna Yates scored the Spartans' other goal in the nightcap.
San Jose State begins second-day play in the Aztec Invitational against #19-Wagner at 9:15 a.m. and plays Whittier College at 4:45 p.m. Wagner won both of its matches on day one defeating #16-UC San Diego, 8-7, and Whittier, 14-7.
Aztec Invitational women's water polo tournament
Aztec Aquaplex, San Diego, Calif.
March 11, 2017
|#12 San Jose State (7-12)||3||1||2||1||7|
|#17 San Diego State (6-7)||4||1||2||1||8|
|San Jose State -- Carla Toha Vilanova, 4; Donia Momen, 2; McKenna Yates, 1.|
|San Diego State -- Ioli Benekou, 5; Caroline Israels, Makena Magro, Paola Vizcarra, 1, each.|
|San Jose State -- Katelynn Thompson, 3.|
|San Diego State -- Kate McDonnell, 9.|
|San Jose State -- 9.|
|San Diego State -- 3.|
|#13 Indiana (11-3)||0||0||2||1||3|
|#12 San José State (7-11)||1||0||2||1||4|
|Indiana -- Jennifer Beadle, Sarah Myers, Kelly Matthews, 1, each.|
|San Jose State -- Donia Momen, Klaudia Paradi, Cara Robinson, Sheila Jensen, 1, each.|
|Indiana - Jessica Gaudreault, 15.|
|San Jose State -- Katelynn Thompson (21 minutes), 7; Tayler Peters (11 minutes), 4.
|Indiana -- 5.|
|San Jose State -- 9.|