Water Polo Opens 2018 at Bruno Classic
Feb. 1, 2018
SAN DIEGO -
Game Week Preview
T-No. 13 San Diego State (0-0) vs. No. 19 Harvard (2-1) - 3 p.m. ET
T-No. 13 San Diego State (0-0) vs. No. 18 Hartwick (1-2) - 9:45 a.m. ET
- The Aztecs are set to embark on their 24th season and the 20th under the direction of Carin Crawford. San Diego State is 505-299 all-time and 414-257 with Crawford at the helm. The 20th-year head coach recently won the USA Water Polo Sandy Nitta Distinguished Coaching Award for the Pacific Southwest Zone for the second straight season. She is now a candidate for the national award, which will be revealed at a later date.
- SDSU is looking for its first season-opening win since 2015, when it defeated unranked Hartwick, 12-7, at Aztec Aquaplex. The last time San Diego State won a season opener at a tournament was in 2014, after it dismissed Concordia, 18-7, at the Lancer Mini in Riverside.
- The Aztecs are 17-6 all-time in the first game of the season and 14-5 with Crawford as head coach. SDSU has lost two straight openers, but both were to higher-ranked teams. Under Crawford, San Diego State is a perfect 13-0 in season openers when it enjoys a higher ranking.
- SDSU is making its first trip to the east coast since 2014, when it competed at the Harvard Invitational. The Aztecs won their first three games before dropping a 9-7 decision to Michigan. The last time San Diego State played on the east coast to open a season was in 2012 at the Terrapin Invitational in College Park, Maryland. The Aztecs went a perfect 3-0 after defeating Marist, Wagner and the hosts, Maryland.
- The Scarlet and Black enters the Bruno Classic with a 34-4 cumulative record vs. the four teams it will face this weekend. San Diego State is 4-0 vs. Harvard (last meeting: March 12, 2016), 5-2 vs. Wagner (last meeting: Jan. 28, 2017), 15-2 vs. Hartwick (last meeting: Feb. 11, 2017) and 10-0 vs. Brown (last meeting: March, 31, 2016). Of the 10 times SDSU has defeated the Bears, zero have come at the Brown facility.
- The trip to Providence, Rhode, Island, will mark the first of a stretch of 14 games away from home for the Aztecs. San Diego State will not play a regular-season contest at Aztec Aquaplex until Loyola Marymount visits for a Golden Coast Conference match on March 9. After that, SDSU will play host to the Aztec Invitational on March 10-11, and face Harvard once again, Sonoma State, Hawai’i and Bucknell.
- The Aztecs were picked to finish second in the preseason Golden Coast Conference Coaches Poll. San Diego State is the reigning four-time defending regular-season champion and has never lost a conference game (26-0) in the four years the league has been in existence. SDSU experienced a similar scenario last year, being picked second, and went on to post a 7-0 record.
- San Diego State has played two exhibitions during its preseason camp, facing the Chinese National Team after just three days of practice and the Aztec Alumni. SDSU dropped a 16-9 decision to the Chinese National Team and fell victim to two-time All-American and student assistant coach Ioli Benekou’s game-winning goal in an 8-7 Alumni victory.
- Benekou, who was an All-American in 2014 and 2016, was one of three All-Americans to depart after last season’s fourth straight Golden Coast regular-season crown. Joining her was 2015 and 2017 honoree Caroline Israels, the fourth-leading scorer in SDSU history (also No. 6 all-time in steals), and Alyssa Diacono (2014, 2016), who drew the second-most ejections (292) in program history. The trio made was responsible for 60.1 percent of the Aztecs’ offense last year. In total, the 2017 senior class, which included Makena Magro, Mikayla Vessey, Katy Schneider and Sarah Crist, contributed 71.1 percent of San Diego State’s goals scored.
- Ready to lead the offense in 2018 is junior Hannah Carrillo. The driver has 45 career goals, including 30 last season, which ranked fourth on the team in 2017. The San Diego product also added the second-most assists last season with 31 and ranked fourth in steals (38).
- The Aztecs feature a roster that has 11 freshmen, six sophomores, five juniors and four seniors. It is the fewest seniors on a roster since the 2015 season (3). The roster also has 13 players who have never played a regular-season game for the Aztecs when you include junior college transfers Mary Myers (Driver; Riverside Community College) and Mia Harris (Goalkeeper; Grossmont College).