Aztec Rally Comes Up Just Short in 10-9 Loss to Hawai'i
April 25, 2008
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's water polo team dropped a tough 10-9 decision to the University of Hawai'i in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship Friday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Rainbow Wahine, who advanced to a semifinal match-up against top-seeded UCLA, improves to 20-8, while SDSU falls to 27-6 on the season.
Sophomore Danielle Pelke led the Scarlet and Black with her fourth hat trick of the season and junior Anna Gonzales chipped in a pair of goals. Jenna Schuster, Ronni Gautschi, Erinn Greenwood and Becca Ur rounded out the Aztec scorers, while senior Heather Fenske notched 10 saves in the loss.
Pelke opened the scoring at the 4:24 mark before Schuster gave the Aztecs an early 2-0 cushion just 39 seconds later. After struggling on offense for the first six minutes of action, the Rainbow Wahine came back to even the match as they scored twice in the final two minutes of the first period.
Hawai'i took its first lead of the game with 7:04 remaining in the second stanza thanks to a shot from Angela Turnbull that found the back of the net after it ricocheted off the left goal post, but SDSU countered when Greenwood took advantage of an offensive turnover by UH to knot the score at three. The Rainbow Wahine then scored a pair of goals before Gonzales powered one through the outstretched arms of Hawai'i goalkeeper Sarah Gralitzer with 27 seconds left in the half. The goal ended a four-minute scoring drought for the Aztecs and cut their deficit to 5-4 heading into the break.
UH pulled ahead in the third frame to take its largest lead of the game (7-4) on a 6-on-5 goal by Kelly Mason. SDSU returned the favor on its ensuing possession as Pelke scored her second goal of the day, also on a man-up opportunity.
Trailing 7-5 heading into the final stanza, the Aztecs rallied for four goals, but it was not enough as the Rainbow Wahine notched three tallies of their own. Gonzales brought the Aztecs within one goal of sending the game into overtime when she scored with 24 seconds on the clock, but UH was then able to run the clock out for the 10-9 victory.
San Diego State will return to the pool on Saturday, April 26, when it faces San Jose State (15-14) at 11:40 a.m. (PDT). If the Aztecs win, they will play for fifth place on Sunday afternoon.
(5) HAWAI'I 10, (4)SAN DIEGO STATE 9
UH 2-3-2-3 -- 10 SDSU 2-2-1-4 -- 9