Defense Keys Women's Water Polo's 5-3 Win Over #20-Harvard

March 17, 2017

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Saratoga, Calif.----- Goalkeeper Tayler Peters stopped a season-high 13 shots including a 5-meter penalty shot leading San Jose State to a 5-3 women's water polo non-conference win over Harvard.

Peters preserved the Spartans' 4-3 lead when she denied Harvard's best chance to tie the score in the second half at the 2:43 mark of the third quarter.

"She (the Harvard shooter) shifted a little bit to the left. You (as a goalie) have to pick a side to stop penalty shots. I felt good going to the right. I picked the right side and I was able to watch the ball correctly," Peters said about one of the key plays in the match.

"She (Tayler) came out big. She started playing really well at the San Diego State tournament and she brought her form to this weekend as well -- great blocks, good passing, very reliable," said San Jose State head coach Gabor Sarusi about one of the Spartans' two co-captains.

The win by #14-ranked San Jose State (9-13) was its second in a row and the third time in the last five matches an opponent failed to score more than five goals. Harvard was limited to a season-low three goals for the second time this season.

San Jose State's shooting was off target again, but the Spartans scored just enough for the victory. Cara Robinson and Sheila Jensen each scored twice in the first half and Klaudia Paradi added a key insurance goal with 5:44 remaining in the match. Jensen's two goals in the final 3:15 of the second quarter broke a 2-2 tie and put the Spartans ahead to stay.

"Again, we kept a ranked team to three goals, which is always good. Our defense helped us out. If we can keep it a low scoring game, that always helps us," said Sarusi.

San Jose State relied on its power-play defense en route to a win. #20-ranked Harvard (7-9) was 1-of-10 on power play chances. In the last five matches, the Spartans allowed just four scores in 41 power-play situations.

"Our defense was pretty solid. They helped me on defense. It was just a question that our shots weren't going in," the Spartans goalkeeper commented.

San Jose State returns to action, Saturday, March 25, at #1-ranked University of Southern California in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match starting at 1:00 p.m.

San Jose State University women's water polo

West Valley College Aquatic Center, Saratoga, Calif.

March 17, 2017

Final Score -- San Jose State 5, Harvard 3

Score by quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
#20-Harvard (7-9) 2 0 1 0 3
#14-San Jose State (9-13) 1 3 0 1 5

Goal scoring
Harvard -- Sofia Carrera-Justiz, Kristen Hong, Michelle Martinelli, 1, each.
San Jose State -- Cara Robinson, Sheila Jensen, 2, each. Klaudia Paradi, 1.
Goalkeeper saves
Harvard -- Cleo Harrington, 11.
San Jose State -- Tayler Peters, 13.
Ejections
Harvard -- 13.
San Jose State -- 11.