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No. 17 Water Polo Falls to No. 6 UCI on Road, 13-6

The Aztecs fell on the road to UC Irvine, 13-6.
The Aztecs fell on the road to UC Irvine, 13-6.

March 2, 2014

IRVINE, Calif. - No. 17 San Diego State water polo rallied from an early first-quarter deficit to take a halftime lead, but could not hang on as sixth-ranked UC Irvine came from behind to post a 13-6 victory Sunday afternoon Anteater Aquatics Complex. The loss sends the Aztecs to 8-6, while UCI moves to 13-6.

UC Irvine provided all of the offense in the first quarter, tallying a goal midway through the frame, and continued its production in the second when it scored twice in the first 90 seconds. The Aztecs, however, answered with single goals from Ioli Benekou, Carina Carballo and Makena Magro to level the score at 3-3.

The Anteaters mustered one more goal in the quarter to briefly take a 4-3 lead, but SDSU responded with a pair of goals in the final 75 seconds. Nikole Ferrari notched her first of the game and 11th of the season to knot the score and then Benekou notched her second of the game to lift SDSU to a 5-4 lead at halftime.

As potent as the San Diego State offense was in the second period, the same could not be said in the third as it was kept off the scoreboard. UCI, however, was the side that found the offensive touch as it hung a five spot to move ahead, 9-4, as the game entered the fourth quarter.

In the final eight minutes, SDSU's woes continued offensively as Ferrari was the only Aztec to find the back of the net. The Anteaters, meanwhile, tacked on four more goals to provide the final seven-goal margin.

Benekou and Ferrari led San Diego State with two goals apiece and goalkeeper Rachel Mitchell finished with a game-high 10 saves.

SDSU returns to action next Saturday, March 8, when it faces Marist at 1 p.m. ET at the Harvard Invitational in Boston, Mass.

No. 6 UC Irvine 13, No. 17 San Diego State 6
Anteater Aquatics Complex; Irvine, Calif.

SDSU 0-5-0-1--6
UCI 1-3-5-4--13

SDSU goals: Benekou 2, Ferrari 2, Carballo, Magro
UCI goals: Mitchell 6, Warde 2, Croghan 2, Milham, Bergesen, Estrada

SDSU saves: Mitchell 10
UCI saves: Yocum 7