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No. 17 Water Polo Knocks Off Cal Baptist in GCC Opener

Freshman Ioli Benekou scored three goals in the Aztecs' 6-5 victory over Cal Baptist on Saturday.
Freshman Ioli Benekou scored three goals in the Aztecs' 6-5 victory over Cal Baptist on Saturday.

March 1, 2014

SAN DIEGO - Junior Anique Hermann scored a back-handed goal with 2:55 remaining to lift the No. 17 San Diego State women's water polo team to a thrilling victory over No.T-20 California Baptist, 6-5, in its first-ever Golden Coast Conference game on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Loli Benekou scored three goals for the Aztecs, while sophomore Taylor Gums scored twice and freshman Alyssa Diacono and Hermann tallied one goal apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Mitchell recorded 17 saves, including a clutch one to preserve SDSU's lead with just over two minutes remaining.

San Diego State (8-5, 1-0 GCC) led 3-0 when Gums scored her second goal of the game with 7:36 left to play in the first half, but Cal Baptist (7-8, 0-1 GCC) responded with five-consecutive goals to take a two-point lead with 1:29 to go in the third quarter.

The Aztecs battled back, however, as Diacono scored with eight seconds left in the third to make it 5-4, and freshman Ioli Benekou tied it 5-5 with 6:46 to go in the game.

After Hermann's goal put San Diego State ahead for good, Mitchell made a great save at the other end to preserve the lead. A shot from Cal Baptist senior Christina Young sailed just wide left of the net as time expired, as the Aztecs won their third-straight game.

SDSU returns to action on Sunday, as it hits the road to face UC Irvine, beginning at 1 p.m. PT.

No. 17 San Diego State 6, No. T-20 California Baptist 5
Aztec Aquaplex; San Diego, Calif.

CBU 0 2 3 0 - 5
SDSU 0 3 1 2 - 6

CBU goals: Evans 3, Barrows 2
SDSU goals: Benekou 3, Gums 2, Diacono, Hermann
CBU saves: Rowland 3
SDSU saves: Mitchell 17