No. 12 Water Polo to Face CBU and LMU on the Road
March 22, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
Game Week Preview
No. 12 San Diego State (11-9; 2-0 GCC) at No. 21 Loyola Marymount (9-11; 0-0 GCC)
- The Aztecs enter this week’s action in first place in the GCC standings with a 2-0 record. The Lancers and Lions have yet to play a conference game. LMU, however, will open its league season on Friday with a home game vs. Fresno Pacific.
- Other than SDSU, only Santa Clara (1-1) and Fresno Pacific (0-2) have played conference games. Pacific, Azusa Pacific and Concordia join California Baptist and LMU as the only schools to have not played a GCC contest to date.
- The Aztecs are in a familiar place -- the top of the league standings -- after they won at Fresno Pacific, 14-9, last Friday. San Diego State is now 21-0 all-time in Golden Coast Conference games. The three-time defending GCC regular-season champions and the reigning GCC tournament champs were picked to finish in second place in the preseason coaches poll.
- In the victory over the Sunbirds, San Diego State was led by Caroline Israels. The senior scored a career-high-tying five goals, had a team-best four steals, and added two assists and two field blocks. Classmate Ioli Benekou and sophomore Hannah Carrillo each had three goals, while centers Alyssa Diacono (2) and Paola Vizcarra (1) had three goals between them. Goalkeepers Kate McDonnell (4 stops) and Maura Cantoni (1 save) split time between the pipes.
- Before their trip to Fresno Pacific, the Aztecs closed their five-game homestand with a non-league game vs. fifth-ranked UC Irvine. Despite falling, 9-7, to the Anteaters, SDSU had a chance to level the score with under a minute to play, but fell short. San Diego State rallied from a 5-2 halftime deficit to close to within 8-7 after Makena Magro scored with 1:49 to play. The Aztecs got a defensive stop to give them a chance late, but could not convert before UCI added one more goal to provide the final margin.
- From Montezuma Mesa, San Diego State went to Fresno and then Bakersfield for the Roadrunner Invitational. The Aztecs experienced little resistance from Cal State East Bay, cruising to a 15-4 win. In the afternoon, SDSU met an unbeaten and 11th-ranked Princeton squad, which it led, 4-1, at halftime. The Tigers tied the game after a 3-0 third period and received the go-ahead goal with 3:09 to play. Benekou had a game-tying shot denied with five seconds left to send SDSU to just its second loss in its last eight games.
- In dissecting the victory over Cal State East Bay, nine different Aztecs scored with Benekou leading the way with four. The senior also had a team-best five of SDSU’s 17 steals. Israels, meanwhile, had three goals and a team-high three assists. Altogether, the Aztecs had 14 assists on 15 goals.
- Israels did a little bit of everything in the loss to Princeton. The senior registered two goals, three steals and three field blocks, all of which were team highs. Diacono, however, continued to do what she has her whole career and that is draw ejections. The senior had four of SDSU’s five vs. the Tigers to give her 11 in four games last week. Diacono now has 258 career ejections drawn to rank third in San Diego State history. She trails Erinn Greenwood (322) and Holly Hartzel (282).
- SDSU on Friday will meet a California Baptist team that it has dominated over the years. Since its first meeting in 2000, the Aztecs have won 16 of 18 all-time get-togethers. San Diego State will enter the game riding a 14-game series winning streak, including last year’s 7-5 victory in San Diego.
- The Aztecs’ trip to Riverside will be just their third and first since 2015. SDSU was victorious in 2001, emerging with a 10-7 decision, and again in 2015, when it won, 11-9.
- Saturday’s opponent, Loyola Marymount, leads the all-time series with San Diego State, 15-14. The Aztecs, however, have won the last two meetings and have held the Lions to eight goals over those two games.
- SDSU is 1-3 vs. Loyola Marymount in true road games in Los Angeles. San Diego State’s lone win came in its last trip back in 2015, when it edged the Lions, 9-8. The last two meetings in the City of Angels have been one-goal decisions. Prior to SDSU’s 9-8 win, LMU defeated the Aztecs in sudden-victory overtime, 10-9, in 2014.
- Following their two-game road trip, the Aztecs will return home to prepare for the Hawai’i Invitational. While in Honolulu, San Diego State will face No. 3 UCLA, 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara and the No. 8 Rainbow Wahine. It will mark the first time the Aztecs have played outside the state of California since competing at the season-opening ASU Tournament.