Saratoga, Calif.----- San Jose State University co-captain Vanessa Elgohary scored her team's one goal on a fourth-quarter power play in a 12-1 loss to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) leader and #2-ranked USC at the West Valley Aquatic Center.
As USC's Denise Mammolito was going to the penalty box Michelle Taikeff found Elgohary in front of the Trojans' cage and put her shot past goalkeeper Victoria Chamorro.
"There was an ejection and I got quick pass. My back was turned from where the ball was coming from. It was a skip (shot) under her (Chamorro's) left arm," Elgohary said about the goal at the 7:24 mark.
"A team like this, you have to move on them a lot. They press really hard. Moving, doing a bunch of drives, and picks is the only way to pull an ejection and get open."
USC (20-1, 4-0 MPSF) won its 10th consecutive match, but did not have the quick, extended goal scoring sequences that make the Trojans the likely #1-team nationally when the April 18th coaches poll is announced. Instead USC relied on an effective power play converting 5-of-7 chances including three times out of its first four goals.
"USC is a really tough team, a really good team. I think the fact we were able to hold them under 10 goals for the first three quarters was good. It was one of our personal goals," said Elgohary, who now has a single-season personal best six goals on the season.
"I felt like our defense improved every quarter. I thought, defensively, the effort was much better," said San Jose State head coach Gabor Sarusi.
The Trojans led 3-0 after the first quarter and 6-0 at halftime. When San Jose State faced the Trojans at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational hosted by UC Irvine in February, the Spartans gave up 12 first-half goals in a 17-1 loss.
San Jose State (9-16, 0-4 MPSF) took 23 shots, seven fewer than USC's 30, and had some good chances at adding to its scoring total but were unable to capitalize against the Trojans that yields less than 4.5 goals a match this season.
"I liken their defense to `German engines.' They work really efficiently. They don't give you many looks," Sarusi said about USC's defense. "We had 10 shots in the first half against USC which probably will be the #1-team in the country next week. So, it's not bad. We just have to start converting a little bit more."
USC goalkeeper Victoria Chamorro stopped nine Spartan shots on goal.
"We had some pretty solid defense. Katelynn was doing well in the cage today. She had some amazing blocks. We had a couple of stops out of hole set and a few steals out on the perimeter," said Elgohary.
San Jose State finishes the challenging MPSF gauntlet of top-five nationally ranked teams on Sunday, April 22. The Spartans host current #1-ranked Stanford in a 12:00 p.m. contest at the West Valley Aquatic Center. It will be Senior Day for goalkeepers Thompson, Tayler Peters, and field players Elgohary, Klaudia Paradi, Jennifer Liu and Jordan Milich-Misikini.
San Jose State University women's water polo
#21-San Jose State vs. #2-USC
West Valley College Aquatic Center, Saratoga, Calif.
|Score by quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|USC (20-1, 4-0 MPSF)||3||3||2||4||12|
|San Jose State (9-16, 0-4 MPSF)||0||0||0||1||1|
|USC -- Brianna Daboub, 3; Paige Hauschild, Hayley McKelvey, 2, each; Annika Jensen, Maud Megens, Elise Stein, Verica Bakoc, Kaylee Brownsberger, 1, each.|
|San José State -- Vanessa Elgohary, 1.|
|USC -- Victoria Chamorro, 9.|
|San José State -- Katelynn Thompson (30 minutes), 8. Shannon Spence (2 minutes), 0.|
|USC -- 6.|
|San Jose State -- 7.|