Santa Clara, Calif.-----On a record-setting day for San Jose State University, the Spartans completed a four-match sweep with a pair of resounding victories on the final day of the Bronco Invitational women's water polo tournament.
The Spartans (20-9), ranked seventh nationally, defeated host Santa Clara, 13-3, and Sonoma State, 14-2.
"The players really did a great job on defense. (Giving up) Fifteen goals in four games - that's excellent. That's really what we want to emphasize and what we're trying to produce here - a team that does not allow a lot of goals. We did a real nice job of that this weekend," said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully. "I'm more excited about that than I am about the goal differential. The wins are important, but the highlight is controlling the game and making sure the defense plays well."
"We really followed through on our defensive plan. We set out to hold our opponent to a low number and did that pretty well," co-captain Allie Stewart said.
DEFENSE KEYS ANOTHER WINNING STREAK
Winners of 13 of its last 14 matches, San Jose State reached the 20-win mark for just the third time in the program's 15-year history and second time in the last three seasons. The 2000 (22-18) and 2009 (20-14) teams are the other Spartans squads with 20 or more wins in a season.
"It feels really good. We work hard all year. This what we put in the hours for and it's paying off right now. It's fun to win as a team," said Stewart about reaching the 20-win mark. Stewart was the Spartans' leading scorer on the final day of the Bronco Invitational with five goals, including a team-leading three against Santa Clara, to raise her season total to 41 - a personal best with five matches left in the regular season.
Crashing defense, competent passing and effective execution in power-play situations keyed the weekend's success. The Spartans' 15 goals allowed were the fewest by any of the nine tournament teams. San Jose State was 10-of-14 on the 6-on-5 power plays in its April 10 victories, far above the team's 50 percent target.
MINSON SETS RECORD
Goalkeeper Meagan Minson allowed just two goals in five quarters of action for the Spartans. She was credited with seven saves in each of the two wins giving her a single-season school record of 271 saves. The old record was 263 set by Kendra Adama in the 2007 season.
"She had a shutout in the time she played (two quarters against Sonoma State). She's been super all year long. She is so valuable to our team. Obviously, she is the anchor to our team and our defense," Tully said about his number-one goalkeeper.
SHARING THE SCORING HONORS; EFFECTIVE POWER PLAY
Twelve of the 15 Spartan field players scored against either Santa Clara or Sonoma State. Co-captain Adriana Vogt stretched her consecutive-match scoring streak to 18 with one score in each match. Vogt leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in scoring with 68 goals. Morgan Thomas scored her first goal of the season in the Sonoma State win.
"You're going to win games if you convert over 50 percent of your power plays," said Ally Waasted, who led the Spartans in scoring against Sonoma State with a 2011 single-game best three scores.
San Jose State returns to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play, Saturday, April 16, against the University of Southern California (15-5, 3-3 MPSF), in a 4:00 p.m. match. The Trojans were ranked third nationally in the April 12 coaches' poll.
"These past games have built up our confidence going into play USC and Stanford the next two weeks. We're going to be pumped and go after them with all we have," Stewart concluded.
The Bronco Invitational women's water polo tournament
Sullivan Aquatic Complex, Santa Clara, Calif.
April 10, 2011
#7-San Jose State (19-9) 1-5-4-3=13
Santa Clara (11-15) 1-1-0-1=3
San Jose State - Allie Stewart, 3; Timi Molnar, Rachel Henry, 2 each; Dani Curran, Adriana Vogt, Alisa Argend, Kelly Stewart, Alyssa Friesen, Ally Waasted, 1, each.
Santa Clara -Taylor Harkins, 2; Whitney Allen, 1.
San Jose State - Meagan Minson, 7; Maddie Reardon, 2.
Santa Clara - Wren White - 8.
#7-San Jose State (20-9) 6-2-3-1=14
Sonoma State (8-25) 0-0-1-1=2
San Jose State - Ally Waasted, 3; Dani Curran, Anna Natalizio, Allie Stewart, 2, each; Timi Molnar, Rachel Henry, Katie Buzzetta, Adriana Vogt, Morgan Thomas, 1, each.
Sonoma State - Bridgette Souza, Kelsey Lowy, 1, each.
San Jose State - Meagan Minson, 7; Lauren Lewis, 3; Maddie Reardon, 1.
Sonoma State - Taylor Basso, 6.