Aztec Water Polo Opens Season With 15-12 Victory Over Hartwick
Feb. 5, 2009
SAN DIEGO - The fifth-ranked San Diego State water polo team opened the 2009 campaign with a 15-12 victory over No. 14 Hartwick College on Thursday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex. With the win, SDSU notched its eighth consecutive season-opening victory. Hartwick College, meanwhile, fell to 1-4 on the season.
Four Aztec seniors got the season off on a high note as they led the attack on both sides of the ball. All-American Anna Gonzales led the Scarlet and Black with six tallies, while co-captain and All-American Jenna Schuster added five scores. Erinn Greenwood found the back of the net after turning her defender and faking the goalkeeper for the goal in the first period. Katie Bentley had eight saves in the net for SDSU.
Hartwick was led by juniors Christina Evans and Kirsten Hudson, who each recorded four goals.
San Diego State got on the board first as Gonzales found the back of the net from outside. Sophomore Brooke Vessey assisted a Schuster goal two minutes later to put the Aztecs up 2-0 early. Gonzales, Vessey and Greenwood were all able to put one away before Hartwick was able to score when Evans found the back of the net at the 2:05 mark. Schuster added another goal off an outlet pass before the end of the first quarter, giving SDSU the 5-1 advantage.
Schuster and Gonzales each recorded a goal in the second quarter, as did sophomore Sarah Brady. Brady found the back of the net when she rebounded a Schuster shot attempt off the crossbar and connected for her lone score of the match. Hartwick managed to outscore the Aztecs 4-3 in the second period with two goals apiece from Evans and sophomore Jessica McKee to close the gap to 9-5 at the half.
San Diego State scored first in the third period when Greenwood drew an ejection that merited a five-meter penalty. Gonzales connected cross cage on the free shot to put the Aztecs up by five. Hartwick continued to press the Aztecs, as Evans and Hudson both connected on backhand shots within 54 seconds of each other. Gonzales and Schuster would tack on one more goal each to build a 12-7 lead, but Shannon Leonard was able to convert the power play with 30 seconds left in the third quarter to pull the Hawks within four (12-8).
Hartwick would not stop fighting the final eight minutes of play as Hudson would find the back of the net at the 5:39 mark. Junior Ronni Gautschi would answer with a shot that skipped under the Hartwick goalie's arms for the score. Hudson would connect on two more shots and Adrienne Holosko would tally her lone goal of the game, but it wouldn't be enough as Schuster and Gonzales would each score again to secure the 15-12 victory.
SDSU will take to the pool again on Friday when they take on Marist, who received votes in the latest national poll, at 3 p.m. at the Aztec Aquaplex.
No. 5 San Diego State 15, No. 14 Hartwick College 12
Hartwick College 1-4-3-4 - 12
SDSU goals - Gonzales 5, Schuster 4, Brady 1, Gautschi 1, Greenwood 1, Vessey 1.