No. 17 Water Polo Sweeps First Day of Aztec Invite

March 11, 2017

SAN DIEGO -

Aztec Invitational Tournament Central

No. 17 San Diego State defeated both 12th-ranked San Jose State and Chapman on the first day of the 11th annual Aztec Invitational. The two victories evened SDSU’s record at 7-7 on the season.

In the first game vs. Spartans, Ioli Benekou ensured that a back-and-forth affair would favor the Aztecs. The score was knotted at 7-7 with 3:36 left on the clock in the fourth quarter after a goal from Carla Toha-Villanova. But 29 seconds later, Benekou tallied her game-high fifth goal of the game and SDSU rode out the final 3:07 to secure the 8-7 victory.

The first quarter alone featured seven goals and ended with the Aztecs ahead, 4-3. The one-goal advantage proved to be important as both teams played even the rest of the way as they scored once, twice and once again in the quarters 2-4, respectively.

In addition to Benekou’s five goals, San Diego State received single tallies from Caroline Israels, Makena Magro and Paola Vizcarra. Goalkeeper Kate McDonnell had a game-high nine saves. The second game saw SDSU jump out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first period against the Panthers and the advantage swelled to 9-0 before Chapman got on the board with 32 seconds left in the half.

The Aztecs scored the first three goals of the third quarter to lead by a dozen and the run was stopped by yet another Panther goal with under a minute left. Then to close things out, San Diego State posted five goals in the final frame to record the 17-2 victory.

Katrina King scored four goals to lead the way for the Aztecs. Israels and Mikayla Vessey, meanwhile, posted hat tricks. Alyssa Diacono and Vizcarra scored two goals apiece, and Sarah Crist, Magro and Katy Schneider all found the back of the net once.

San Diego State returns to action tomorrow as the Aztec Invitational continues. SDSU will face No. 13 Indiana at 1 p.m. PT and will wrap up tournament play with a 6 p.m. PT game vs. Bucknell.

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