T-No. 14 Water Polo Edges No. 22 CSU Bakersfield, 6-5
April 11, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
T-No. 14 San Diego State rallied to defeat 22nd-ranked CSU Bakersfield, 6-5, Tuesday afternoon at Aztec Aquaplex. SDSU improved to 15-12 with the decision, while the Roadrunners fell to 12-14.
“We came out with a sluggish first quarter to go down two goals,” head coach Carin Crawford said. “We had a great last-second goal to end the first quarter and felt like we were where we needed to be, but after halftime, we struggled with patience on the offensive end and with some mismatches on defense.
“Late in the third quarter and into the fourth, Alyssa Diacono, Caroline Israels and Hannah Carrillo sparked our run,” Crawford added. “We had great defense for the four minutes that we had to hang onto our one-goal lead. It was our defense that got it done in the game.”
As Crawford eluded to, the Aztecs trailed early, 2-0, after Roadrunner goals from Kristen Jensen and Katie Benson. Ioli Benekou breathed life into San Diego State when she put her shot into the back of the net with one second left in the frame.
The teams traded goals in the second quarter beginning with Diacono’s power-play goal off an Israels pass with 3:43 left in the half. CSU Bakersfield countered 35 seconds later when Ashley Paz scored the first of three goals to give the Roadrunners a 3-2 lead at halftime.
Paz scored the first two goals of the third period to lift the visitors to a 5-2 lead with 4:06 left. Then Diacono and Israels led the march back. Diacono scored off a feed from Maddy Parenteau with 3:46 remaining and was followed by Israels’ 6-on-5 goal less than a minute later. At the end of the quarter, though, CSU Bakersfield still led, 5-4.
The Roadrunners kept the Aztecs on the ropes for more than half of the fourth period, but it was not until Carrillo scored with 3:49 left in regulation that the game tilted toward SDSU. With the score tied at 5-5, the San Diego State defense turned up the heat and forced turnover after turnover. The Aztecs then went into Diacono, who battled for the ball at set and punched in the eventual winning goal with 2:51 left.
Diacono led San Diego State with three goals, while Benekou, Carrillo and Israels each scored once. Goalkeeper Kate McDonnell, meanwhile, made seven saves in net.
SDSU returns to Aztec Aquaplex on Thursday when it closes out Golden Coast Conference action. The Aztecs will face Azusa Pacific at 3 p.m. PT and then Concordia at 4 p.m. PT. Admission is free for both games.