May 1, 2013
TEMPE – The Arizona State University water polo team saw four student-athletes honored to the annual All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Senior Alicia Brightwell and sophomore Ao Gao earned First-Team honors for the Sun Devils, who finished the season ranked fourth in the country with a new program best record for single season wins in finishing with 26-7 record. It was the first time in school history that two ASU players had earned first-team accolades.
Senior Shannon Haas earned Second-Team honors while redshirt freshman goalie E.B. Keeve was named to the Honorable Mention team as well as being named to the All-Newcomer team.
Brightwell had a second consecutive stellar season for ASU, finishing the year as the MPSF scoring leaders for the second consecutive year with 84 goals – also setting an ASU single-season school record in the process.
Additionally, Brightwell finished as the only Sun Devil in history to finish in the top 11 in every major seasonal and career statistical category in ASU. Despite competing just two years, Brightwell finds her name on the all-time top-10 list in single season goals, assists, points and steals as well as in the top 11 in the career versions of each of those categories.
With 159 goals over two seasons, Brightwell finished her career ranked third in career goals while she sits 11th in career assists with 48 – giving her 207 career points, which is good for sixth in ASU history. Her 111 points this season (84 goals, 27 assists) is second in school history.
Brightwell was a prominent defender as well, forcing a team-high 77 steals this season – the fourth-highest single season tally in ASU history – and has 104 in her career for a total that ranks eighth in Sun Devil lore.
Gao was almost a silent assassin this season for the Sun Devils this year as she quietly put up one of the most well-rounded seasons in ASU history from the two-meter defender position.
Gao, a two-time Olypian for China, had 43 goals on the year while leading the team with 43 assists. The latter was the third-highest single season tally in school history while her 86 total points are eighth.
A lock-down defender, Gao limited numerous opponents on the season while forcing 65 steals on the year for the sixth-highest single season total in school history. Gao was also named to the MPSF All-Tournament team earlier this week.
Haas wrapped up her four-year career as one of the most impressive centers in the country and one of the greatest Sun Devil water polo players in the program’s history.
The senior logged a career-high 72 goals on the year – 35 more than her previous seasonal best and the second-most in the MPSF behind Brightwell – for the fourth-highest single season tally ever. With 200 goals in her career, Haas finishes as the all-time No. 2 scorer in ASU history and the No. 5 all-time point-scorer as well.
Haas also finished her career with 89 steals, a mark that sits ninth in the ASU record books.
Keeve put together perhaps the greatest single season in ASU history, which is quite the accomplishment considering some of the numbers former great Caylinn Wallace put up in her career.
Keeve - just a freshman – set the all-time single season saves record with 377, knocking off Wallace’s previous best of 346 in 2008. Her 63 percent save percentage on the year is second all-time among goalies with at least 50 saves and first among goalies with at least 200 saves.
She also obliterated the school record for saves per game with 12.46 on the season, a mark that paced that MPSF and was nearly two more saves per game better than Wallace’s previous record of 10.52.