No. 15 Water Polo to Face No. 2 USC on the Road
Feb. 1, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
Game Week Preview
- The game on Friday will be the Aztecs’ third this season vs. a team they faced at the 2016 NCAA Championship. SDSU fell at Arizona State in the opener last weekend, a squad it played in the consolation round, and defeated Wagner, a program it faced in the play-in game in La Jolla. San Diego State and USC, meanwhile, squared off in the opening round game of the championship bracket at UCLA.
- SDSU went 1-1 last weekend at the ASU Tournament in Tempe, Ariz., falling to the host Sun Devils, 13-4, before taking down the Seahawks, 8-6. The Aztecs fell behind early vs. Arizona State and never recovered. The opposite could be said of the Wagner game when San Diego State led, 2-0, after one quarter and 5-3 at halftime before playing even the rest of the way (3-3).
- In her first two games as the starting goalkeeper, Kathleen McDonnell put up impressive numbers stopping 12 shots vs. Arizona State and then turning away a career-high 13 vs. Wagner. The junior entered the season with 21 career saves, including 16 last season.
- The Aztecs were led in both of their games last week by their three returning two-time All-Americans in Ioli Benekou, Alyssa Diacono and Caroline Israels. Benekou was one of four Aztecs to score one goal, Diacono included, vs. Arizona State. Then in the nightcap vs. Wagner, Diacono recorded a season-high four goals, Israels added two and Benekou found the scoring column one time.
- Courtney Jarvis found the back of the net at Arizona State, scoring on one of her three attempts from field. The junior started the season off on a good note after totaling just six goals in her first two seasons on The Mesa. Jarvis also added two steals and field block.
- Delaney Parks, one of four true freshmen who made the travel squad last week, scored on her only shot attempt at Arizona State. Joining her on the trip were classmates Maddy Parenteau (2 games played), Shelby Kraft (2 games played) and Casia Morrison (2 games played).
- Rounding out the scoring in Tempe was Paola Vizcarra, who scored on her only attempt in the game vs. Wagner. The redshirt sophomore came into the weekend having only scored three goals in her only season in 2016.
- Taking a deeper look at Diacono’s performance, the senior continued where she left off last season. At Arizona State, Diacono’s lone goal kept SDSU in the game early, tying the score at two goals apiece. Then vs. the Seahawks, she helped the Aztecs jump out to a 3-0 lead by scoring the team’s second and third goals. Diacono later scored the game-winner and added an insurance goal, both of which occurred in the final three minutes of the game.
- Diacono now has 11 multiple-goal efforts since the start of the 2016 campaign and six hat tricks. Both rank second to only Israels, who has 20 multi-goal performances and 10 games with at least three goals. Diacono is tied with Benekou for the second-most hat tricks since 2016.
- The Aztecs are meeting the Women of Troy for the third time in two seasons after having not seen each other the previous two campaigns. USC emerged victorious in both games in 2016. In addition to the 12-3 loss at the NCAA Championship, San Diego State dropped a home game to USC, 13-3.
- SDSU is making its first appearance at USC since the 2012 season when both schools were members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Aztecs lost that game, 13-5.
- The Women of Troy enter their home opener vs. the Aztecs sporting a 7-0 record. In each of their seven games, they have posted at least 11 goals and are averaging 18.7 goals per game, while allowing only 3.6 goals an outing. USC’s cumulative score this season is 131-25.
- After playing five games at the UCSB Winter Invitational where they defeated Michigan, California Baptist, CSUN, Hawai’i and UC Santa Barbara, the Women of Troy spent last week in Riverside at the CBU Mini Invitational. USC breezed through the competition, notching a 28-1 victory over Concordia and a 22-4 decision over Whittier.
- Following the short trip to the City of Angels, San Diego State will return home to prepare for its home and Golden Coast opener vs. Santa Clara on Friday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. PT (free admission). The Aztecs will begin their fourth straight regular-season title defense and will look to run their all-time GCC record to 20-0. SDSU defeated the Broncos a season ago in Northern California, 9-3.