San Jose, Calif.-----Alexis Higlett scored a season-high five goals leading San Jose State University to a 14-9 victory over Indiana University in a non-conference women’s water polo match.
Higlett received offensive support from teammates Bridget McKee, who also matched her single-game best of three goals, and Juliet Moss, who scored three times for the #9-ranked Spartans. San Jose State (7-9) matched a season-high in goal scoring as it ended a two-game losing streak. The Indiana game marked the third match in a row a Spartan has scored five goals.
San Jose State never trailed after Higlett’s first goal of the game at the 2:57 mark of the first quarter put San Jose State ahead, 3-2. There were six more unanswered Spartan goals, three by McKee, one by Higlett, Deanna Lowry and Geraldine Hazlett before Indiana closed the first half with a Melissa Soria goal.
BALL MOVEMENT & COUNTER ATTACKS LEAD TO THE WIN
“What worked really well for us today was we were communicating as a team, passing the ball around and getting good ball movement. Everyone was creating things and when the defense made a mistake, we capitalized,” said Higlett.
“We’ve really been working on our counter attack in practice and that showed in the game,” said McKee, who scored her second three-goal “hat trick” of the season.
Soria was the top goal scorer for #20-Indiana with three goals. Brooke Zimmerman and Kara Woolley each added a pair of scores for the Hoosiers (5-8).
COACHES TALK ABOUT THE SPARTANS
“It was the first match we’ve played in three weeks. We expected it to be a little fast for us at the beginning and that’s what happened. They kind of got away from us speed-wise, cause we had not got our legs under us,” said Indiana coach Peter King. “San Jose has a good group. They’re very talented, big and physical.”
“It’s critical for us to get back on the winning track. I’m hopeful the next few weeks we’ll get back in that mode and take care of business. It was tough last weekend,” said San Jose State coach Lou Tully, whose team dropped a two-goal match at San Diego State and an overtime contest at Arizona State.
“We’re (still) giving up too many goals. We gave up 11 goals in two close games last week. We gave up nine today, which is too many. It’s not a function of the goalie. It’s the field players doing their job. We need to be a lot more attentive on defense, do a better job of knocking people down and taking away their opportunities,” said San Jose State coach Lou Tully.
“We have a lot of good players on our team. I’m real pleased with the balance and that’s the kind of play we would like to have. We want multiple players to score so you can’t just zero in on one of our players and stop us,” the Spartans’ coach added about the variety in the team’s attack. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve and we’re pretty much doing that this season.”
San Jose State returns to action, Saturday, March 17, when it hosts Princeton at The Aquatics Center in a Noon non-conference match.
Indiana (5-8) 2 1 3 3=9
San Jose State (7-9) 7 2 3 2=14
SJSU – Juliet Moss, 7:27
SJSU – Juliet Moss, 6:06
IU – Kara Woolley, 5:46
IU - Melissa Soria, 3:56
SJSU – Alexis Higlett, 2:57
SJSU – Bridget McKee, 2:37
SJSU – Bridget McKee, 2:05
SJSU – Deanna Lowry, 0:50
SJSU – Alexis Higlett, 0:16
SJSU – Geraldine Hazlett, 6:38
SJSU – Bridget McKee, 2:12
IU – Melissa Soria, 0:07
IU – Brooke Zimmerman, 6:17
SJSU – Alexis Higlett, 4:54
IU – Kara Woolley, 2:17
IU – Brooke Zimmerman, 1:14
SJSU – Tanya Torres, 1:00
SJSU – Juliet Moss, 0:21
SJSU – Alexis Higlett, 5:24
IU – Kristin Zernicke, 4:41
SJSU – Alexis Higlett, 3:25
IU – Melissa Soria, 1:44
IU – Claire Nicholson, 0:52
Indiana – Michelle Soria, 3; Kara Woolley, 2; Brooke Zimmerman, 2; Kristin Zernicke, 1; Claire Nicholson, 1.
San Jose State - Alexis Higlett, 5; Bridget McKee, 3; Juliet Moss, 3; Deanna Lowry, 1; Tanya Torres, 1; Geraldine Hazlett, 1.
Indiana 11 (Jackie Pyrz, 3; Katie Carson, 8)
San Jose State 13 (Kendra Adama, 8; Kelly Kennison, 5)
San Jose State 7-9