#10-Spartans Outlasted By #5-Cal, 11-8

San Jose, Calif.-----#10-ranked San Jose State University had a two-goal lead midway through the third quarter, but #5-ranked California bounced back for an 11-8 win in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women’s water polo match.

            Timi Molnar, Victoria Smith and Rae Lekness each scored twice for the Spartans (10-9, 0-4 MPSF). Ashley Young, who scored the go-ahead goal with 5:00 to go in the match, and Pippa Saunders, who tied the contest at 7-7 in the third quarter, each had three scores for the Golden Bears (14-5, 1-3 MPSF).


The match was tied seven times with three lead changes. Cal held a 5-4 halftime advantage, but the Spartans grabbed a 7-5 lead with a three-goal outburst from Lekness, Molnar and a nifty lob shot by Anna Natalizio to start the third quarter.

“I’m disappointed in the loss, but I felt the team probably played its best game this year. We really worked hard. The game plan was to press and put as much pressure on Cal as we could. We did a good job for the most part,” said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully.  The Spartans had lost their three previous MPSF matches to #1-USC. #2-Stanford and #4-UCLA by 10.67 goals each.

Ochsner’s first of two second-half scores and Saunders’ second of the match evened the score at 7-7.

San Jose State’s Smith tied the game at 8-8 with a goal at 5:48, but an Oschner steal created a 3-on-2 fast-break that Young converted for the game-winning goal at 5:00. The Golden Bears added a pair of insurance goals to close out the Spartans’ hopes for an upset.


 “We played well for four minutes. The important thing for us was to come of here with a conference win on the road. I will tell you this, San Jose is a darn good team. They play very physical. They have good tactics and great technique. That’s a team that an do some damage when we get to the conference tournament,” said Cal head coach Richard Corso. “Somebody will take them lightly and they will be there.

“We played harder and picked up the intensity. That was the biggest thing for us. When we came in this pool, their intensity was way up and we were down very low. We tried to match their intensity and we were able to do it for four minutes.

“When they lost their best player (Molnar), the whole game changed then,” added Corso about Molnar fouling out with 4:27 and Cal up only 9-8.

San Jose State had its best power play of the season going against Cal converting 3-of-4 chances. The Golden Bears were 5-of-10.

“Cal has six really good players and they are able to run quite a few different combinations into the pool. That wears you down after a while. Our players had to work really hard. We really didn’t have much relief,” added Tully who did not have the services of starter Rachel Henry, out with an injury, and lost starters Bianca Seyfert and Molnar to fouls in the second half.

San Jose State returns action Saturday, April 13, at Arizona State in a MPSF contest. The Spartans also will play four exhibition matches in Tempe over two days following the Arizona State match.


Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
#5-Cal (14-5, 1-3 MPSF) 2 3 3 3 11
#10-San Jose State (10-9, 0-4 MPSF)
2 2 3 1 8

 Goal scoring

California – Ashley Young, Pippa Saunders, 3; Dana Ochsner, 2; Breda Vosters, Emily Csikos, Michelle Caron, 1, each.

San Jose State – Timi Molnar, Victoria Smith, Rae Lekness, 2, each; Anna Natalizio, Bianca Seyfert, 1, each.

Goalkeeper saves

California – Savanna Smith, 6.

San Jose State – Maddie Reardon, 7.


California – 4

San Jose State -10