Tempe, Ariz. The sixth-seeded San Jose State University water polo team defeated the Matadors of Cal State Northridge 12-9 in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship on Thursday, April 26. The Spartans rallied in the second half, outscoring Northridge 6-3, to take the win and advance to the second round of championship play. San Jose State will play No. 3 USC on Friday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m.
“It was a tough game,” said head coach Lou Tully. “Both teams battled all the way. We were tied at the half. They started by out-scoring us, then we out-scored them.”
The Matadors (14-18) opened the day’s contest with four goals in the first quarter of play to lead the Spartans (15-11), 4-2, heading into the second quarter. Deanna Lowry scored her first of four goals in the first quarter. Juliet Moss followed with her first to cut the Matador’s lead to within two.
“Deanna was exceptional in this game,” said Tully. “She really hung in there and stayed with it, scoring four goals for us.”
San Jose State rallied in the second stanza with four goals to tie the game at six heading into intermission. Geraldine Hazlett began the scoring for the Spartans with her only tally of the day and freshman Brigett McKee followed with the first championship goal of her career. Senior Alexis Higlett scored on a man-up situation to claim the lead for the Spartans. Lowry notched her second goal of the day at the end of the quarter to bring the score to 6-6.
Tanya Torres broke the match open for the Spartans with a two-goal effort in the third quarter. The sophomore scored back-to-back goals in the stanza to extend San Jose State’s lead to 9-8. Moss scored the first goal of the quarter to take the initial lead.
“Our counter-attack really picked up and became effective later in the game,” said Tully. “It was a great team effort.”
The Spartans added three goals in the final quarter, including two man-up goals, to bring the score to 12-9. Lowry notched the first two goals of the quarter for the Spartans and senior Beth Harberts, the reigning All-MPSF Second-Team honoree, scored the final goal of the game to advance the Spartans into the second round.
Junior Kendra Adama recorded 10 saves on the day, bringing her season-total to 235.
“Kendra was tremendous for us in the cage,” said Tully. “She’s been tremendous for us all season.”
San Jose State will be in action again on Friday, April 27 at they take on No. 3 USC at 2:00 p.m.
No. 6 San Jose State 12, No. 11 Cal State Northridge 9
SJSU: 2 4 3 3 - 12
CSUN: 4 2 2 1 - 9
SJSU: Deanna Lowry - 4, Juliet Moss- 2, Tanya Torres - 2, Beth Harberts, Geraldine Hazlett, Alexis Higlett and Bridget McKee
CSUN: Christine Cruz - 4, Allison Brookes - 2, Jessica Coy 2 and Brianna Wilson
SJSU: Kendra Adama - 10
CSUN: Jillian Stapf - 11