Water Polo

No. 23 Water Polo Closes League Play with 13-10 Win

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The No. 23-ranked San Diego State water polo team scored six of the first seven goals in its Golden Coast Conference (GCC) finale at California Baptist and cruised to a 13-10 victory against the Lancers on Saturday afternoon at Lancer Aquatics Center.
The Aztecs (15-13) finish their conference season with a 4-3 record and will be the 4-seed in next week's GCC Championship tournament. They will face this same California Baptist team (11-17), with its 3-4 record in league action, which is the 5-seed.  The teams are scheduled to play at 2 p.m. PT on Friday, April 26 at Sullivan Aquatic Center on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.
Shannon Murphy and Claudia Valdes paced the Aztecs' offense with hat tricks. Rose Kanemy and Mimi Stoupas each scored twice while Hannah Bell, Amanda Chambers and Kendall Houck all banged the back of the cage once. Ava Ratajczak went the distance in the goal making 11 saves against 10 goals and improved her record to 5-1 on the season. It was the third game this season Ratajczak has recorded double-digit saves, the second time she has stopped 11 Lancers shots, and earned her second win this year against California Baptist.
The Aztecs used the first two minutes of the game to probe the Lancers' defense and then scored three times in 58 seconds. Murphy got the first goal of the contest at the 5:47 mark, and just 22 seconds later, Kanemy hammered the back of the cage. Thirty-six seconds after Kanemy, Valdes scored to make it 3-0 with 4:49 to go in the first quarter.
California Baptist came right back and scored with 4:32 to go, but Kanemy pushed the margin back to three, at the 2:44 mark, with her second tally of the quarter. Before the Lancers could blink, SDSU had scored again. The goal came from Chambers, 19 seconds after Kanemy's, and sent the game to the second period with San Diego State up 5-1.
Houck made it 6-1 when she scored 40 seconds into the second. CBU strung together a pair of goals, with 7:06 and 4:00 on the clock, to trim the lead to 6-3. But at the 3:34 mark, 26 seconds after the last Lancers' goal, Stoupas scored to extend the lead to four goals. After California Baptist scored back-to-back goals for the second time in the quarter, at 2:31 and 1:35, the lead was down to 7-5, but Murphy's second strike of the game sent the contest to the break with SDSU up 8-5.
Each team scored twice in the first eight minutes after the intermission. Murphy completed the hat trick, the first of her college career, at the 6:53 mark of the third quarter. CBU scored with 4:22 and 2:48 on the clock to make it 9-7, but Bell, with 48 seconds to go, sent the game to the final period with the Scarlet and Black leading 10-7 with a goal.
In the last stanza, the teams went back and forth, trading goals.  California Baptist went first, scoring 20 seconds in, followed by Valdes' second of the game, at 5:11, making it 11-8. Twenty-one seconds after Valdes' tally, CBU scored, and 22 seconds after that Stoupas banged the back of the cage and SDSU lead 12-9. The Lancers got their final goal with 2:15 left on the clock and Valdes, with her third goal of the game, 14th hat trick of the season and third in the last four games, picked up the final goal of the contest securing San Diego State's 13-10 victory.
California Baptist got two goals each from Celeste Almendariz and Delilah Moreno and goalie Tyanna Schneider, in 32 minutes, had seven saves against 13 goals and added two steals.
Claudia Valdes has 67 goals and needs three more to become the first Aztec since Amber Pezzolla finished 2013 with 71 goals, to score at least 70 in a season.
San Diego State: 5-3-2-3 - 13
California Baptist: 1-4-2-3 - 10
San Diego State Goals: Murphy (3), Valdes (3), Kanemy (2), Stoupas (2), Bell (1), Chambers (1), Houck (1)
California Baptist Goals: Almendariz (2), Moreno (2), Beringer (1), Carter (1), Gates (1), Kahahawai (1), Lehoczky (1), Newton (1)
San Diego State Saves: Ratajczak (11)
California Baptist Saves: Schneider (7)