Aztec Water Polo Takes Two on First Day of ASU Invitational
March 31, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. - San Diego State's Anna Gonzales (Fresno, Calif.) scored seven goals on Saturday, leading the fifth-ranked Aztec water polo team to a pair of victories during bracket play at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. SDSU (20-4) extended its school-record winning streak to 13 games with an 8-1 triumph over Cal Baptist in its morning encounter, followed by a 13-5 conquest of No. 17 Michigan in the afternoon. With the sweep, the Aztecs advance to Sunday's four-game championship round at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on the ASU campus.
SDSU's opener against the Lancers was a low-scoring affair, but thanks to a suffocating defense and Gonzales' four-goal outburst in the first half, the Scarlet and Black assumed a commanding 5-0 lead by intermission. The Aztecs then put the game out of reach as Stacy Werner (Lodi, Calif.), Danielle Pelke (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Erinn Greenwood (Sanger, Calif.) each found the back of the net in the second half. Also helping the cause was Jenna Schuster (Upland, Calif.), who stretched her scoring streak to 16 games with a goal in the first quarter, while Elana Cervantes (Davis, Calif.) chipped in with four assists.
Cal Baptist finally broke through on a score by Chelsea Gentry with 3:08 left in the third quarter, but by then SDSU was in complete control. Goalkeeper Sarah Kilgore (Rossmoor, Calif.) anchored a stellar defensive performance by turning back 10 Lancer shots before giving way to Heather Fenske (Lompoc, Calif.) late in the fourth period. Greenwood and Werner were also hawkish against the Cal Baptist attack, contributing three steals apiece.
The Aztecs got off to a slow start in the nightcap as the Wolverines built a 2-0 advantage midway through the first quarter. However, Gonzales converted a 6-on-5 opportunity with 1:38 left in the period, which ignited a 9-0 SDSU run. During the barrage, Gonzales and Schuster both recorded hat tricks, while Cervantes, Greenwood and Becca Ur (Lompoc, Calif.) tallied single goals as the Scarlet and Black extinguished the Michigan threat by the third quarter.
The Wolverines finally responded with a pair of goals late in the third period, which cut the lead to 9-4. However, SDSU countered with three scores of its own after Ur and Werner and Jamie Vessey (Redlands, Calif.) beat goalkeeper Kristen Davis during a two-and-a-half minute stretch in the fourth quarter. Following a Michigan goal, Greenwood accounted for the final outcome with her second score of the game at the final buzzer.
In front of the cage, Kilgore set a career-high with her 11th double-digit save effort of the season after blocking 14 Wolverine shots, while Greenwood and Ur each drew three ejections.
San Diego State wraps up play at the Arizona State Invitational on Sunday with a semifinal matchup against No. 12 UC Santa Barbara starting at 8 a.m. If the Aztecs defeat the Gauchos, they will play the winner of the Arizona State-Michigan clash for the championship beginning at 1:45 p.m. If SDSU falters, it will take on the loser of the Sun Devils-Wolverines contest in the third place game, which gets underway at 12:30 p.m.
#5 SAN DIEGO STATE 8, CAL BAPTIST 1
Cal Baptist 0-0-1-0--1
#5 SAN DIEGO STATE 13, #17 MICHIGAN 5
Michigan goals: Wesley Ellison, Sharayah Hernandez, Julie Hyrne, Carrie Stover, Shana Welch
Michigan goalie saves: Kristen Davis - 9