Lacrosse Set for Key Road Games at UC Davis, Stanford
April 20, 2017
* San Diego State needs at least one victory this weekend to have a chance at securing one of the two remaining spots in the MPSF tournament, scheduled for April 27-30 at McAlister Field on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, Calif. The Aztecs are currently tied with UC Davis and California for fifth place in the conference standings with a 2-4 record in MPSF play, while Fresno State remains a half-game back in eighth with a 2-5 mark, as the top six teams qualify for the MPSF tournament.
* Following its game against SDSU, UC Davis will play host to USC on Sunday, while Cal visits Fresno State in another pivotal matchup on Friday, before returning home to face Colorado on Sunday. The Aztecs defeated Cal in a 14-13 overtime thriller at home last month, before experiencing a 17-12 setback at Fresno State on April 3.
* SDSU will be looking to get back into the win-column after dropping its third straight last Sunday in a 17-5 home loss to Colorado. Trailing 3-0 with just under nine minutes gone by in the first half, the Aztecs scored three straight goals, capped by sophomore Harlowe Steele’s tally at the 14:55 mark, to tie the score at 3-3. However, the Buffaloes fashioned a 9-0 run over the remainder of the half and the first 15-plus minutes of the second stanza to put the game out of reach. In addition to Steele’ s strike, SDSU received goals from four other players, while senior Erin Jeffery dished out a career-high three assists.
* Senior Kristen Hickey is enjoying a career year in her final campaign on Montezuma Mesa, leading the Aztecs with 26 tallies, including a four-goal spree in the season opener against Denver. In addition, the SDSU midfielder is fourth in the MPSF this week with 14 free position goals and ranks sixth in the conference with 33 ground balls. She also occupies the seventh spot in the league with 77 shots, while her 19 caused turnovers is tied for 10th. For her career, Hickey has moved into the top five on SDSU’s all-time charts with 62 ground balls and 42 caused turnovers.
* Not to be outdone, fellow classmates Kayla Deitz and Alex Watson have also enjoyed breakout seasons in 2017. Deitz is currently second on the squad with 24 goals, including nine from the free position, which is tied for sixth in the MPSF. Watson, meanwhile, has racked up 23 goals of her own, including the game-winner in overtime vs. California on March 26. In addition, senior Vickie Porter (17), sophomore Jill Haight (14) and freshman Taylor Sullivan (14) have surpassed double digits in goal scoring.
* In front of the net, senior Katrina Reeves ranks fourth among the conference’s starting goalkeepers with a .466 save percentage and an 11.79 goals against average, while fellow classmate Katie Merritt owns a .545 save percentage and a 9.95 goals against average in six appearances this year, including starts against Columbia and Fresno State. Last season, the Aztec duo split keeper duties as well, allowing the second-fewest goals in program history (190).
* Reeves also occupies the third spot in the MPSF this week with 38 ground balls, while her 21 caused turnovers is tied for sixth. Additionally, junior Mackenzie Lech and senior Ijeoma Ikpe find themselves among the league leaders this week. Lech is tied for fourth with 35 ground balls and is tied with Hickey for 10th with 19 caused turnovers, while Ikpe ranks fifth with 22 caused turnovers of her own.
* Sullivan leads the Aztecs’ talented freshman class this year with 14 goals, which is tied for fifth on the team. The Annapolis, Md., product is also 6-for-10 on the season in free position attempts and has collected 11 ground balls to go with six caused turnovers. Meanwhile, fellow classmate Morgan Taylor has found the back of the net five times this season and leads all SDSU rookies with 15 ground balls, including a season-high four at Oregon on Feb. 11. Additionally, Ryli Quinn has cracked the starting lineup in seven games, racking up a team-high 22 draw controls.
* Elsewhere, Haight set a career-high with seven draw controls in the Aztecs’ 12-11 win over New Hampshire on March 15, which is tied for fifth on the school’s single-game charts. In addition, Reeves tied her personal best with six ground balls against Saint Joseph’s on March 10, matching senior Casey Taggart, who accomplished the feat in the previous game vs. Boston University on March 5. The six ground balls by the two players is tied for second in program history.
* As a team, San Diego State tops the MPSF with an average of 20.71 ground balls and 11.79 caused turnovers per game, which ranks 12th in the nation. Entering the weekend, the Aztecs also occupy the second spot in the conference with 10.14 saves per game and rank fourth in the MPSF with 28.93 shots and 22.21 shots on goal per contest, as well as a .470 save percentage. In addition, the Scarlet and Black is 52-for-115 (.452) on the year in free position shots and is 190-227 in clears (.837). SDSU has collected six MPSF Player of the Week honors already this season, which is tied for second-most in the conference with Colorado. Hickey (offense/defense) and Sullivan (rookie) have been recognized in the same week on two occasions, earning their honors on Feb. 6 and March 27, respectively. In addition, Reeves (defense) garnered her accolade on Feb. 27, while Taggart (defense) was selected on March 6.
* The Aztecs are 2-3 all-time against UC Davis after dropping a tough 7-6 overtime decision at home last season. However, SDSU emerged with a 12-9 victory in its last visit to Aggie Stadium in 2015. Meanwhile, the Scarlet and Black has come up short in all five meetings against Stanford, including a 16-10 setback in the regular-season finale on the Mesa last year.
* The program’s only coach after lacrosse became the 19th intercollegiate sport at San Diego State in 2012, Kylee White is now in her sixth season at the helm of the Aztecs. She has transformed SDSU’s fledgling program to a strong competitor in the MPSF, highlighted by consecutive conference tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015. In November 2016, White was inducted into the London (Ontario) Sports Hall of Fame after becoming the only women’s lacrosse player to represent Canada in each of the last three decades. In 1995, she played on the inaugural U-19 Canadian National Team and later served as an assistant for the squad in 2007. White also played for Team Canada at four IFWLA World Cups (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013), helping the 2013 team to a silver medal. A four-year letterwinner at Ohio State, White was a four-time Buckeye scholar-athlete honoree and a Big Ten all-academic performer on three occasions. She co-captained the 2002 squad to an 11-5 record and a runner-up finish in the American Lacrosse Conference, helping Ohio State claim its first NCAA berth. White caused 28 turnovers in 2001 and still ranks among the OSU all-time leaders in caused turnovers and ground balls.