Irvine, Calif.-----Tanya Torres scored a personal single-game best four goals including the game-winner with 1:10 remaining as #9-San Jose State University defeated #4-UC Irvine, 7-6, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women’s water polo match.
The win was the Spartans’ sixth in a row extending their school-record winning streak. San Jose State’s triumph also marked the second time this season the team has beaten the #4-ranked team in the country. On February 10, the Spartans (12-9, 5-4 MPSF) knocked off then-#4 California, 14-13, in overtime.
“It’s exciting. This really was a great double for us. We played really well yesterday (at Long Beach State) and it’s important to get momentum in April. This is ‘crunch time’ and our players know that,” said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully.
NEVER TRAILED AGAINST THE ANEATERS
San Jose State never trailed as it picked up its third consecutive road victory in the current win streak. Beth Harberts opened the scoring for the Spartans at 7:17 and Torres’ first goal gave San Jose State a 2-1 lead after the first quarter.
Alexis Higlett’s third-period goal with 2:58 remaining gave the Spartans their second three-goal lead of the match, 6-3.
UC Irvine (15-8, 3-6 MPSF) scored the next three goals to tie the match, 6-6. Jackie Prine scored the second of her two goals on a power play for the Anteaters with 1:48 left in regulation play.
POWER-PLAYS KEY SPARTANS ATTACK
Torres, who scored twice in the second quarter on a power play and a penalty shot, notched her second power-play goal to close out the scoring. In the match, three of the San Jose State goals were on power plays. Juliet Moss scored her team-leading 43rd goal of the season on a power play for a 5-2 advantage.
“Geraldine Hazlett earned an ejection to give us a man-up. They overplayed one side of the pool and it worked out well for us. Tanya took a great shot,” the Spartans’ coach said about the game-winning goal from 4 meters out that went under the arm of UC Irvine goalkeeper Lauren Machanis.
“We’ve been trying to encourage Tanya to go to the cage and look for her shot. She is such a good passer, but at times, she needs to look for her shot and this was one of them,” he added about Torres, who now has 25 goals on the season.
Goalkeeper Kendra Adama was credited with seven saves in the San Jose State win. Machanis stopped 11 Spartan shots for the Anteaers.
“Our defense did a good job. We did a good job of knocking down people on the outside and did a good job with of counter attacking on offense,” Tully stated.
REGULAR SEASON COMING TO A CLOSE
San Jose State concludes its home schedule, April 14 & 15, hosting UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, respectively, in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches at the Aquatics Center. Match time is 11:00 a.m. for the UC Santa Barbara contest and noon against UCLA.
San Jose State (12-9, 5-4 MPSF) 2 2 2 1=7
UC Irvine (15-8, 3-6 MPSF) 1 2 2 1=6
SJSU – Beth Harberts, 7:17
UCI – Gianna Rossi, 1:46
SJSU – Tanya Torres, 1:21
SJSU – Tanya Torres, 6:12 (power play)
UCI – Robyn Kaake, 5:55
SJSU – Tanya Torres, 0:15 (penalty shot)
SJSU – Juliet Moss, 6:40 (power play)
UCI – Jackie Prine, 5:34
SJSU – Alexis Higlett, 2:58
UCI – Robyn Kaake, 0:06, (power play)
UCI – Julia Fancher, 6:54
UCI – Jackie Prine, 1:48 (power play)
SJSU – Tanya Torres, 1:10 (power play)
SJSU – Tanya Torres, 4; Beth Harberts, Juliet Moss, Alexis Higlett, 1.
UCI – Robyn Kaake, Jackie Prine, 2; Gianna Rossi, Julia Fancher, 1.
SJSU – Kendra Adama, 7
UCI – Lauren Machanis, 11