San Jose, Calif.-----San Jose State University's Katie Buzzetta and Anna Natalizio each scored a three-goal hat trick, but three Arizona State unanswered second-quarter goals led the Sun Devils to a 10-8 win over the Spartans in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) women's water polo match.
Shannon Haas led the way offensively for #4-ranked Arizona State (21-5, 3-3 MPSF) with four scores, one in each quarter and found the cage three times on power-play opportunities. Overall, the Sun Devils were five-of-seven with the player advantage.
#10-ranked San Jose State (14-9, 2-4 MPSF) was three-of-eight with its power plays. Buzzetta scored twice on the power play as part of her second hat trick of the season. Natalizio, who extended her multi-goal scoring streak to nine matches, accounted for the Spartans' other power play goal.
In a fast-paced first quarter, the team were tied, 3-3, before Arizona State scored the next four goals to close out the first half with a 7-3 lead. Goals by Dani Curran and Buzzetta cut San Jose State's deficit in half, but the Sun Devils ran off the next three scores.
"We kind of let up (in the second quarter). We weren't as strong defensively as we needed to be. We were dropping back and didn't press out like we could. They have a lot of outside shooters who can put it in the goal," said Buzzetta, one of seven Spartans honored in pergame Senior Day ceremonies. "Meagan had an awesome game (in goal). We just needed to be stronger with our defense."
San Jose State, which had its two-game winning streak stopped, scored three times in the final four minutes. For the first time in four games, the Spartans yielded a double-figure goal total to an opponent.
"We finished strong, but we dug ourselves a hole that was tough to get out of," said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully. "We learned a lot today. We haven't played this team before (in 2012). They have a lot of international players which brings a different level of play to the game. It was a good experience for our team to pick up some information when we play them the next time."
Meagan Minson was credited with nine saves in goal for San Jose State. Arizona State's Ianeta Hutchinson stopped eight shots including a penalty shot by Curran in the fourth quarter.
"The second quarter was the one where we settled down and played our kind of polo the most. But, I felt like the third quarter, we got some good opportunities, but didn't put the ball on goal," said Arizona State coach Todd Clapper, whose team began the day tied with San Jose State for fifth place in the MPSF standings.
The loss to Arizona State gave the Spartans a split for the weekend against a pair of conference opponents ranked in the top-10 nationally. San Jose State did move up one spot in the MPSF standings with its 9-8 overtime win over San Diego State on March 31.
"Obviously, we were looking for two wins, the win we had to have was against San Diego State. We wanted to get this one, but they (Arizona State) is a little stronger team and we knew that. We hoped to play better and stop them better than we did, added the San Jose State coach.
The Spartans finish out MPSF play, Friday, April 6, hosting USC, in a 1:00 p.m. match at The Aquatics Center.
|#4-Arizona State (21-5, 3-3 MPSF)||4||3||1||2||10|
|#10-San Jose State (14-9, 2-4 MPSF)||3||0||2||3||8|
Arizona State - Shannon Haas, 4; Alicia Brightwell, 2; Kelsey White, 2; Miriam Salloum, 1; Anna Kertes, 1.
San Jose State - Katie Buzzetta, 3; Anna Natalizio, 3; Dani Curran, 2.
Arizona State - Ianeta Hutchinson, 8.
San Jose State - Meagan Minson, 9.
Arizona State - 9.
San Jose State - 7.