Bakersfield, Calif.----- San Jose State University's Rae Lekness tied the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) women's water polo career scoring record of 291 goals and teammate Donia Momen led all players with four goals as the Spartans defeated host CSU Bakersfield, 12-8, in a MPSF Tournament consolation bracket match.
With the win, San Jose State will face Arizona State in the fifth-place contest, Sunday, May 1, at 11:00 a.m. at the Hillman Aquatics Complex.
Lekness' goal came on a penalty shot with 15 seconds left in the first quarter giving the Spartans (18-14) and 5-1 lead. The senior from Calgary, Alberta heads into the Arizona State match with a conference-leading 95 goals for the season and is tied with University of Southern California's Monica Vavic for the top spot on the MPSF career list.
Momen's second four-goal performance against CSU Bakersfield this season powered the Spartans in the first half. The southpaw took advantage of the attention the Roadrunners paid to Lekness accounting for all of scores giving San Jose State a 7-2 advantage with 5:21 left before the Spartans took a 9-4 lead into intermission.
"We had a great start," said San Jose State head coach Johnny Bega. "Our defense was on point. We were able to counter attack because of our defense.
"They pressed Rae hard and that left Donia open. Rae was more of a passer. Bakersfield didn't let her (Lekness) breathe."
CSU Bakersfield closed to 10-8 with 4:41 remaining in the contest, but Carla Toha Vilanova scored two of her three goals in the next 0:59 for San Jose State to secure the win. Toha Vilanova became the fifth freshman in Spartan women's water polo history to score at least 50 goals in a season. She now is second on the San Jose State team with 52.
Kelli Leabo, with two goals, and Cara Robinson and McKenna Yates, with one each, accounted for San Jose State's remaining scores.
Tayler Peters played the entire game in goal for the Spartans and was credited with 10 saves.
"Tayler had a good start and maintained her play well. All in all, she was solid," concluded the San Jose State head coach.
The San Jose State-Arizona State match will be a repeat of last year's MPSF Tournament fifth-place match. The Spartans eked out a 9-8 win on a Momen backhanded goal with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women's water polo tournament
Hillman Aquatic Complex, Bakersfield, Calif.
April 30, 2016
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|CSU Bakersfield (13-19)||1||3||2||2||8|
|San Jose State (18-14)||5||4||1||2||12|
CSU Bakersfield -- Nicola Barrett, Ashley Paz, 2, each; Kristen Jensen, Jada Helberg, Tancy Aldridge, Lindsey Paulson, 1, each.
CSU Bakersfield -- Courtney Wahlstrom, 7 saves.
San Jose State -- Tayler Peters, 10 saves.
CSU Bakersfield -- 8.
San Jose State -- 6.