Aztec Water Polo Upsets No. 4 Hawai'i, 10-7, on Senior Day
April 8, 2008
SAN DIEGO - Bolstered by a four-goal third period, the fifth-ranked San Diego State water polo team sent its three seniors off with a 10-7 upset over No. 4 Hawai'i (14-6, 7-3 MPSF) on Tuesday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex. SDSU, which ended a five-game losing streak to the Rainbow Wahine, improves to 25-3 overall and 7-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
Senior Becca Ur sparked the Aztec offense with a season-best five assists, including three to junior Jenna Schuster, who finished the day with a game-high four goals. Sophomores Ronni Gautschi and Danielle Pelke each added a pair of tallies, while juniors Anna Gonzales and Erinn Greenwood also found the back of the cage. Senior goalkeeper Heather Fenske had a huge game, blocking a pair of penalty shots and racking up 11 total stops, marking her 12th double-digit save game of the season and fifth in the Aztecs' last six outings.
After a steal by Gonzales, Ur found Schuster on a cross-court pass two minutes into the game to open the scoring. The pair connected again just 1:37 later as the Aztecs capitalized on a man-up opportunity. UH was able to get on the board at the 3:34 mark when Saara Majuri's offspeed shot found its way past an outstretched Fenske. The Aztecs would regain their two-goal lead (3-1), however, as Ur notched her third assist of the period, this time setting up Gautschi with 57 seconds on the clock.
SDSU carried its momentum into the second quarter as Pelke drilled a shot past UH goalkeeper Sara Gralitzer during a 6-on-5 situation just 37 seconds into the period. The Rainbow Wahine proceeded to score a pair of goals to pull within one at 4-3, but the Aztecs eventually ended a six-minute scoring drought when Sarah Brady's steal led to a breakaway goal by Gautschi, putting the Aztecs up 5-3 at the half.
The Scarlet and Black found its groove in the third frame, as it pulled away by outscoring Hawai'i, 4-1. Gonzales and Pelke each converted a penalty shot early in the period to put SDSU up 7-3. The dynamic duo of Ur and Schuster then connected one more time before Kelly Mason picked up her second tally of the day to get the Rainbow Wahine back in the scoring column. With 36 seconds on the clock, Schuster gave the Aztecs a 9-5 advantage, scoring on a breakaway that was created off a steal from Greenwood.
Despite a three-goal effort by UH in the final frame, SDSU was able to hold on for the win. Greenwood scored the Aztecs' lone goal of the period at the 4:42 mark. A pair of scores brought Hawai'i within four (10-6) with 2:46 to play, but the Rainbow Wahine misfired on its next three shot attempts. Van Raalte notched her third goal of the game with two seconds remaining, giving the Aztecs the 10-7 victory.
Ur, Fenske and Tiphanie Elliott were all honored before their final regular season home game at the Aztec Aquaplex.
San Diego State will continue its MPSF slate this weekend when it heads to top-ranked and undefeated UCLA on Saturday, April 12 for a 1 p.m. (PDT) showdown. The Aztecs will then make their way to Cal State Northridge the following day for a 3 p.m. (PDT) battle against the Matadors.
#5 SAN DIEGO STATE 10, #4 HAWAI'I 7
UH 1-2-1-3 -- 7
UH goals: Van Raalte 3, Mason 2, Turnbull, Majuri.
UH goalie saves: Gralitzer 9.