Saratoga, Calif.----- San Jose State University scored first, but it was Arizona State University’s power play in the first half that was the difference in a 10-6 loss to the Sun Devils in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women’s water polo match.
Guara Garcia Delgado gave the Spartans (9-15, 0-3 MPSF) their only lead of the match, 1-0, when she beat Sun Devils goalkeeper Mia Rycraw 21 seconds into the contest after a mid-pool steal.
Arizona State (15-7, 1-3 MPSF) then scored the next six goals, four of them on 6-on-5 power plays to take a commanding 6-1 lead with 4:50 remaining before halftime. Alkistis Benekou and Maud Koopman each scored two of their four goals each on power plays during the six-goal run.
“Instead of pressing, we got kind of comfortable, because we scored the first goal. We backed off and that’s what got us,” Garcia Delgado said about the Arizona State first-half rally.
“…We turned the ball over too many times in the beginning of the game. As we settled in, I thought the second half was great,” said San Jose State head coach Gabor Sarusi, who singled out Tayler Peters for her play in goal, Lili Urvari, and 2-meter players Tyanna Supreme, Kathryn Elgin, Sheila Jensen and Vanessa Elgohary.
“The reason we were back in the game in the second half was because of them (the 2-meter players) working hard.”
“It great to see the improvement (offensively),” Sarusi added. “We had a lot of shots on goal (24) early on. We are definitely creating a lot of opportunities which is good to see,” the Spartans coach added.
The Spartans were effective on the power play, too, going 2-for-4. Taikeff and Elgin were San José State’s power play scorers.
Peters was credited with nine saves for the Spartans including a stop of a Benekou penalty shot in the final minute of the contest.
San Jose State is back in action Saturday, April 14, hosting #2-USC (19-1, 3-0 MPSF), in a 2:00 p.m. MPSF match at the West Valley Aquatic Center. Earlier this season, the Trojans defeated the Spartans, 17-1, at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational in late February.
San Jose State University women’s water polo
#21-San Jose State vs. #6-Arizona State
West Valley College Aquatics Center, Saratoga, Calif.
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match
Score by quarters
#6-Arizona State (15-7, 1-3 MPSF) 4-3-2-1=10
#21-San José State (9-15, 0-3 MPSF) 1-1-2-2=6
Arizona State – Alkistis Benekou, Maud Koopman, 4, each; Kayla Casas, Lena Mihailovic, 1, each.
Arizona State – Mia Rycraw, 8.
San Jose State – Tayler Peters, 9.
Arizona State – 4
San Jose State - 6