Defense Leads Water Polo To Third Straight Win

San Jose, Calif. The No. 9 San Jose State University women’s water polo team played tight defense in route to a 10-6 non-conference victory over University of Maryland, on Sunday, March 19. Sunday’s match was the third consecutive victory for the San Jose State, bringing their overall record to 9-9. It is the first time the Spartans have won three straight matches since April 2005.

The Spartan defense set the tone early, shutting out the Terrapins (8-12) in the first quarter. With the help of Alexis Higlett’s two early goals, San Jose State jumped ahead 4-0 after the first quarter. Geraldine Hazlett and Tanya Torres kept the pressure up on Maryland, both scoring once in the second quarter, leading the Spartans into halftime with a 6-3 lead. San Jose State’s defense kept the pressure on the Terrapins, yielding only three second-half goals. Hazlett, a junior from Modesto, Calif., continued her strong play, scoring her third and forth goal of the match, while Torres added another goal in the second half to put the game out of reach.

Although the Spartans cruised to their ninth victory, head coach Lou Tully was unhappy with the team’s performance a day after a 22-9 victory over No. 18 Princeton, “I was disappointed with our effort today. With conference play coming up, we can’t approach our upcoming games like we did today.” Even though dissatisfied in the effort, Tully is pleased that they are going into their only bye-week with a three-game winning streak, “This will be our first weekend off since early January. The girls will finally get to rest a bit, so we should be ready to take on Pacific in a couple weeks. Being our first three-game streak should tell you how hard our conference really is.”

Hazlett agreed with coach Tully’s thoughts, “We didn’t play as well as we hoped; we were playing lackadaisical.” On a week off before a tough upcoming conference schedule, Hazlett added, “This is our first time off this season, so we should definitely be motivated to keep playing hard.”

Hazlett’s four-goal game was a career best. It was her second multiple-goal game of 2007 and third of her Spartan career. Alexis Higlett’s two goals gave her sole possession of 15th all-time in career scoring leaders. With her two goals on Sunday, Torres reached the 25 career-goal mark in her second year, while Deanna Lowry first quarter goal gave her 60 career goals, 12th all-time. Kayleigh Knight, a junior college All-American transfer, scored her first goal as a Spartan in the fourth quarter.

No. 9 San Jose State 10, Maryland 6

Team 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Maryland (8-12) 0 3 1 2 6
San Jose State (9-9) 4 2 2 2 10

UM Stanicic-3, Lau, Klein, Simerly
SJSU Geraldine Hazlett-4, Alexis Higlett-2, Tanya Torres-2, Deanna Lowry, Kayleigh Knight

Jobsin -5, Corwin-7
SJSU Adama-5, Kennison-5