San José, Calif. --- Emotions were in the air as the #11-San José State Spartans women's water polo team split a double header with a commanding win over Cal State Monterey Bay Otters and tough loss to the #5-Arizona State Sun Devils on Senior Day.
Leading the Spartans with eight goals in the double header, Lekness moved into third place on the all-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation scoring list with 284 goals in her career. She is seven goals away from tying the MPSF record of 291 goals held by USC’s Monica Vavic, posted during the 2012-15 seasons.
#5-Arizona State 13, #11-San José State 8
An early lead and a mid-match rally for San José State (16-13, 0-5 MPSF) weren’t enough to pick up its first conference win as the Spartans falling to Arizona State (17-5, 3-2 MPSF), 13-8, in the first of the double header.
San José State took a 2-1 lead over Arizona State on two goals from Cara Robinson in the opening period. Robinson led San José State with three goals. Arizona State’s lone goal in the first was on a shot from Ao Gao. The Spartans were unable to hold onto the lead in the second as the Sun Devils' offense surged.
The Sun Devils scored five unanswered goals to jump out to a 6-2 lead with three minutes remaining in the second with three goals from Daisy Carter and solo shots from Lena Mihailovic and Abbey Kerth. The Spartans rallied with Lekness scoring her first goal of the day and a pair of power-play goals from McKenna Yates and Leabo to cut the Sun Devils’ lead to one goal with five seconds left.
With one second left in the first half Gao slipped in a shot from across the pool for Arizona State to counter San José State’s charge. The Spartans trailed 7-5 at halftime.
Arizona State opened the second half with a power-play goal by Maud Koopman, her first of three goals. The Sun Devils would find the back of the cage two more times before the Spartans would strike again.
Collecting her second goal, Lekness scored with four minutes left for the Spartans while Robinson adding her third on a 6-on-5 power-play opportunity to conclude the quarter.
The fourth quarter went scoreless until the three-minute mark when Koopman scored on a five-meter penalty shot. Carla Toha Vilanova quickly responded with a goal of her own for the Spartans’ only fourth quarter score.
#11-San José State 24, Cal State Monterey Bay 3
The Spartans took an early lead over Cal State Monterey (5-22, 0-2 WWPA) and continued to build on it, shutting down the Otters 24-3 in a non-conference match.
In their final match at the Aquatic Center, Leabo and Lekness led the Spartans with six goals each, scoring a combined 10 goals in the first half. San José State scored eight goal in both the first and second quarters to lead 16-2 at the midway point.
Lekness scored four of her six goals in the opening quarter, scored back-to-back goals to kick off the contest. She scored her fourth goal of the quarter on a power-play opportunity with 2:47 left. The Canadian senior added another power-play goal in the second period and her final goal to close out the third quarter.
Leabo began her scoring run collecting the Spartans’ eight goal in the first before grabbing back-to-back goals to start second. The Stockton native had four goals going into halftime. Her final two goals came in the third and on a penalty shot in the fourth.
Toha Vilanova scored three goals against the Otters, scoring back-to-back goals, less than 40 seconds apart, in the first and another to begin the third.
Collecting two goals each for San José State were Sheila Jensen, Sierra Painter, Brittany Krappe and Giuliana Tragitt. Rounding out the scoring for the Spartans was Robinson with a goal.
San José State returns to MPSF action on Saturday, April 16, on the road to challenge the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners in the final regular season match.
San José State University Women’s Water Polo
The Aquatics Center, San José, Calif.
April 9, 2016
Arizona State 13, San José State 8
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|#11-San José State||2||3||2||1||8|
Arizona State – Daisy Carter, Maud Koopman, 3, each; Lena Mihailovic, Ao Gao, Abbey Kerth, 2, each; Katie Sverchek, 1.
Arizona State – Mia Rycraw, 9.
San José State – Alicia Magliocco, 3.
Arizona State – 10.
San José State – 11.
San José State 24, Cal State Monterey Bay 3
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Cal State Monterey Bay||2||0||1||0||3|
|#11-San José State||8||8||6||2||24|
Cal State Monterey Bay – Katrina Conen, Marisa Lovos, Olivia Wheelock, 1, each.
Cal State Monterey Bay – Morgen Fain (1 quarter), 2; Macy Buhl (3 quarters), 5.
Cal State Monterey Bay – 7.
San José State – 5.