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Seventh-Ranked Aztec Water Polo Falls To No. 2 USC, 10-7

The Aztecs will return to the pool on Friday when they travel to Hawai'i for a MPSF match-up.
The Aztecs will return to the pool on Friday when they travel to Hawai'i for a MPSF match-up.

March 28, 2009

SAN DIEGO - The No. 7 San Diego State water polo team gave the second-ranked Trojans a scare in the fourth quarter, but it wouldn't be enough as the Aztecs suffered a 10-7 defeat by the Women of Troy on Saturday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Scarlet and Black fall to 0-5 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play, while USC remains perfect in MPSF at 5-0.

Senior Anna Gonzales led the Aztec attack with three goals all by way of five-meter penalty shots, while classmate Erinn Greeenwood notched two scores. Senior Erin Lester and junior Melissa de Jonckheere rounded out the SDSU scoring with one goal each. Freshman Kelly Campoli recorded 13 saves in front of the cage.

USC got on the board first, but it wasn't until over three minutes into the period. Michelle Stein would notch both first quarter goals for the Trojans as her first tally of the game at the 4:59 mark came on a skip shot and her second score came at the 1:13 mark when she hit the upper corner to put USC ahead of the Aztecs, 2-0, at the end of the first frame.

In the second quarter, the Trojans wasted no time increasing the lead when Kami Craig found Kally Lucas for the score at the 6:05 mark. San Diego State would finally get on the board at the 5:19 mark when de Jonckheere put one past USC goalie Tumua Anae. Lucas would connect again off of a counter attack, giving the Women of Troy a 4-1 lead with three minutes to play before intermission. Stein would complete the hat trick before the break, connecting at the 1:29 mark.

San Diego State came out of the break ready to play. Greenwood was able to draw an ejection of Forel Davies, leading the Scarlet and Black to call a timeout. When play resumed, the Aztecs were unable to convert the 6-on-5 opportunity, but Greenwood would finish the play as the Trojans were scrambling to get even. USC would convert their own power play opportunity with 4:45 to play when Rosanna Tomiuk connected from a Lucas pass, giving the Trojans a 6-2 advantage. Stein would be called on a penalty at the 2:55 mark and Gonzales would take advantage and connect the five-meter shot for the score. Davies would close out third quarter scoring at the 2:17 mark, giving USC a 7-3 lead heading into the final frame.

San Diego State would refuse to fold in the final eight minutes of play, outscoring the Trojans 4-3 in the fourth quarter. Senior Jenna Schuster would draw another penalty foul on USC's Joelle Bekhazi and Gonzales would find the lower left corner for the score. Less than a minute later, Schuster would draw a second penalty foul, this time on Stein. On the San Diego State counter attack, Stein was ejected, but fouled before leaving the field of play, resulting in the penalty. Gonzales would connect again, firing the ball past the goalie in the lower left corner and putting the Aztecs only two scores down. The Trojans refused to let the Scarlet and Black come any closer, as Kami Craig would find Kristen Dronberger for the score and Nadia Dan would tally her lone goal of the day with 1:46 to play. San Diego State would close the gap again when Greenwood would fire a shot from 11 meters out at the end of the 35 second shot clock for her second goal of the game, bringing the score to 9-6. Alexandra Kiss would skip a shot into the corner with 22 seconds left and Lester would answer with a bar in score of her own with four seconds left. The late rally would not come soon enough for the Aztecs, however, as the Scarlet and Black would fall, 10-7.

San Diego State will take the week of from competition before traveling across the Pacific for a MPSF match-up against Hawai'i, Friday, April 3. The Aztecs will take on the Rainbow Wahine at 6 p.m. PT.

No. 2 USC 10, No. 7 San Diego State 7
Aztec Aquaplex - San Diego, Calif.
March 28, 2009

USC 2-3-2-3 -- 10
SDSU 0-1-2-4 -- 7

USC goals: Stein 3, Lucas 2, Dan, Davies, Dronberger, Kiss, Tomiuk.
SDSU goals: Gonzales 3, Greenwood 2, de Jonckheere, Lester.

USC goal saves: T. Anae 9.
SDSU goal saves: Campoli 13.