#9-Spartans Take Out CSU Bakersfield, 15-7

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.


            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.


            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.


            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

Goal Scoring

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.

Goalkeeper Saves

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