San Jose, Calif.-----Senior Anna Natalizio and freshman Rae Lekness combined for 11 of San Jose State University’s 15 goals as the Spartans defeated CSU Bakersfield, 15-7, in the final regular-season Mountain Pacific women’s water polo match for both teams.
On Senior Day at San Jose State, Natalizio poured her single-game career best five goals in the first three periods and Lekness scored four of her six goals in the final quarter as the #9-nationally-ranked Spartans (11-10, 1-5 MPSF) ended a three-match losing streak, all against top-five ranked opponents. For the second time in 2013, Lekness scored six times in a match.
“This was our first MPSF win so that is awesome. We had close calls with Cal and ASU (Arizona State). So, it was good to actually get a win,” said Natalizio, who moved into 12th on the Spartans’ career scoring list with 119 goals.
Rachel Henry, with two, and Timi Molnar and Bianca Seyfert, each with a first-half goal also scored for San Jose State.
Nicola Barrett led CSU Bakersfield (12-22, 0-6 MPSF) in scoring with three, one in each of the first three quarters. The Roadrunners closed out the regular season losing their last three contests.
SEASON HIGH FOR GOALKEEPER REARDON
San Jose State goalkeeper Maddie Reardon had a busy afternoon making a season-high 12 saves, seven of them in the final quarter as the Spartans blanked the Roadrunners in the 10:46 of the contest.
For the second match in a row, San Jose State started fast taking a 5-1 lead after the first quarter. Natalizio opened the scoring at 5:57 and converted a penalty shot to put San Jose State ahead, 4-0.
“It’s the second time in a row now we’ve had a really good start, but we let things get away from us a little bit. We had a lot of ejections and a lot of offensive fouls,” said San Jose State coach Lou Tully, whose team was handed out 15 ejections.
“I always think it is a good thing when a team gets off to a good start, because it boosts morale and keep the spirits up,” said Reardon.
NATALIZIO & LEKNESS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS
Even with a 7-1 deficit early in the second quarter, CSU Bakersfield battled back. The Raodrunners scored the last three goals before halftime to trail, 7-4. Twice in the third quarter, CSU Bakersfield cut the margin down to two, 8-6 and 9-7, but it was either Natalizio or Lekness that countered with a score to put the Spartans ahead by three.
“We got her (Lekness) more to the center of the cage today and she did a lot better. She’s far more effective there. When she has a good game, that is going to make a lot of difference for us,” Tully said about his freshman that leads the team in goal scoring with 49.
MPSF TOURNAMENT OPENS WITH #3-ARIZONA STATE
With the win, San Jose State will be the sixth-seed in the 2013 MPSF Championship Tournament, April 26-28, in Berkeley, Calif. The Spartans take on #3-seed Arizona State (25-5, 4-2 MPSF), Friday, April 26, at 12:45 p.m. The Sun Devils overcame the Spartans’ 5-1 first-quarter advantage for an 11-8 victory on April 13.
“We’ve improved a lot over the last month. Hopefully, we can pick it up for our final tournament,” concluded Natalizio who was recognized with seniors Kimber Methvin and Morgan Thomas in pre-match ceremonies.
San Jose State University Women’s Water Polo
The Aquatics Center, San Jose, Calif.
April 20, 2013
|Score By Quarters||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Cal State Bakersfield (12-22, 0-6 MPSF)||1||3||3||0||7|
|#9-San Jose State (11-10, 1-5 MPSF) ||5||2||3||5||15|
CSU Bakersfield – Nicola Barrett, 3; Janelle Shelby, Sam Shead, 2, each.
San Jose State – Rae Lekness, 6; Anna Natalizio, 5; Rachel Henry, 2; Timi Molnar, Bianca Seyfert, 1, each.
CSU Bakersfield – Alex Bayer (1st & 2nd qtrs.), 3; Chiyeko Morisaki (3rd & 4th qtrs), 1.
San Jose State – Maddie Reardon, 12.
CSU Bakersfield – 9
San Jose State - 15