April 13, 2013
TEMPE - The third-ranked Arizona State University water polo team overcame a sluggish start to knock off #10 San Jose State, 11-8, on Senior Day at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on Saturday.
Ao Gao had three goals while seniors Alicia Brightwell and Shannon Haas each scored twice in the final home game of their Sun Devil careers.
The Sun Devils (25-5, 4-2 MPSF) matched the school single season records for wins with the finish while also wrapping up their best regular season MPSF record in school history with the result.
The Spartans (10-10, 0-5 MPF) were not fazed by the high-ranked ASU team and came out with guns blazing in the first quarter to the tune of five goals in the frame and taking a 5-2 advantage into the second quarter.
Haas scored both her goals in the frame to bring ASU within 6-4 at halftime as the ASU defense clamped down, allowing just three goals over the final three quarters.
The floodgates opened for the Sun Devils in the third quarter as they outscored SJSU 4-0 in the frame to take an 8-6 advantage into the fourth, where they scored the first two goals to cap the 6-0 run and put the game out of reach with a 10-6 lead.
Brightwell scored both her goals in the final frame to add the insurance for ASU, bringing her season tally to 76 goals - breaking her previous record set last season. Petra Pardi also added two goals while Anna Kertes added another, as did senior Amanda Young in her final game at home.
E.B. Keeve was stellar after allowing five goals in the first quarter as she racked up six saves in the second quarter to keep ASU within striking distance and posted 12 total saves in the contest.
The Sun Devils will now set their sights on the MPSF Championships, set to take place in Berkeley, Calif., beginning April 26. With today's effort, the Sun Devils should enter the tournament as the three-seed - it's highest in school history.
GOALS: Gao 3, Brightwell 2, Haas 2, Pardi 2, Kertes, Young
SAVES: Keeve 12