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No. 14 Aztecs Rally to Beat Cal Baptist, 10-9

Kelly Campoli made a game-high-tying 10 saves in SDSU's 10-9 win over Cal Baptist.
Kelly Campoli made a game-high-tying 10 saves in SDSU's 10-9 win over Cal Baptist.

April 2, 2010

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SAN DIEGO - Icon Cal Baptist at San Diego State Highlights

The 14th-ranked San Diego State water polo team rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat Cal Baptist, 10-9, Friday afternoon at Aztec Aquaplex. With the victory, SDSU sweeps its Friday doubleheader, posts its 47th straight win over unranked opponents and improves to 18-11 overall.

Hours after beating 20th-ranked Brown, 10-5, the Aztecs returned to the pool to take on the Lancers, a team receiving votes in the latest top-20 poll, and struggled out of the gate. The game started with an Amber Pezzolla shot that barely missed in the opening moments and it quickly turned into a 1-0 deficit after Petra Kovacs scored 36 seconds in.

Melissa de Jonckheere tied the game on a power-play opportunity on the ensuing possession and gave San Diego State the lead off an assist from Sarah Brady. Up 2-1, SDSU allowed consecutive Cal Baptist goals to Chelsea Gentry (power play), Collette Brown (penalty shot), Kylie Chevalier (skip shot) and Kovacs, before ending the scoring drought and period with a Pezzolla 6-on-5 goal with 47 seconds left in the quarter.

With the score 5-3 in favor of CBU as the game entered the second period, the teams matched each other goal-for-goal. Jennifer Grutz's tip shot barely sailed over the outstretched arms of Kelly Campoli to give the Lancers a three-goal cushion. After more than two minutes of back-and-forth action, the Aztecs caught the break they needed and received a breakaway goal from de Jonckheere with 3:58 before halftime. Cal Baptist, however, scored the next time down the pool, as did San Diego State when Meaghan Poland notched the first of her three goals. The Lancers increased their lead to 8-5 with 1:06 left on the clock, but Sarah Brady's goal tenths of a second prior to the halftime buzzer brought the Aztecs to within two prior to the teams switching ends.

In the third quarter, SDSU started to play with more urgency on the defensive end and kept CBU off the scoreboard. Offensively, the Aztecs started to play at their pace and it resulted in two more Poland goals. The utility player from Wildomar, Calif., scored in the opening minute and with 2:14 left in the frame to pull San Diego State even with the Lancers at 8-8.

The Aztecs took their first lead at 9-8 since leading 2-1 in the first quarter when Kimmy Keach found the back of the net on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 5:19 left in the contest. Following a scoreless couple of minutes, Brady made a clean steal at the point of attack and started a fast break, which led to a powerful skip shot from Pezzolla, who posted what would be the game winner with just under two minutes to play. As time wound down, Brown scored for the Lancers to make things interesting, but SDSU ran out the clock and Pezzolla made a critical steal with less than 10 seconds left to ice the game for the Aztecs.

Both goalkeepers were stellar in net. Cal Baptist's Camryn Rogers made a number of impressive saves, as did Aztec All-American Kelly Campoli. Each finished with a game-high-tying 10 stops.

San Diego State wraps up its home schedule on Saturday, April 10, as it plays host to UCLA. First sprint for the Senior Day game is set for 1 p.m. PT at Aztec Aquaplex.

No. 14 San Diego State 10, Cal Baptist 9
Aztec Aquaplex (San Diego, Calif.)

CBU 5-3-0-1--9
SDSU 3-3-2-2--10

CBU goals: Petra Kovacs 3, Collette Brown 2, Chelsea Gentry, Kylie Chevalier, Jennifer Grutz, Melissa Shepardson
SDSU goals: Melissa de Jonckheere 3, Meaghan Poland 3, Amber Pezzolla 2, Sarah Brady, Kimmy Keach

CBU saves: Camryn Rogers 10
SDSU saves: Kelly Campoli 10