Head coach Carin Crawford and her Aztecs will head to northern California this weekend to begin MPSF play.
Feb. 28, 2008
SAN DIEGO -
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NO. 7 SDSU WATER POLO OPENS MPSF PLAY WITH A PAIR OF ROAD GAMES
The seventh-ranked San Diego State women's water polo team (13-1 overall; 0-0 MPSF) will head to northern California to open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play with a pair of games this weekend. The Scarlet and Black will begin a tough conference slate at No. 2 Stanford on Saturday, March 1, with the contest set for a 1 p.m. PT start at the Avery Aquatic Center. The following day, SDSU will make the short trek to eighth-ranked San Jose State, where the Aztecs and Spartans will battle it out at the Campus Aquatics Center beginning at noon PT.
San Diego State began the 2008 campaign by winning 10 straight games before being upset by UC Davis in the opening round of the UC Irvine Invitational last weekend. After falling to the Aggies, the Aztecs rebounded to defeat three top 15 teams en route to capturing ninth place at the elite tournament. In the final game, SDSU trailed eighth-ranked Arizona State, 5-3, in the third quarter before scoring four unanswered goals to claim the 7-5 victory.
Junior Jenna Schuster finished the weekend with 11 goals, including a season-high four tallies against No. 15 Michigan. Sophomore Danielle Pelke added eight goals and also scored the game-winner in the final seconds of the Aztecs' 9-8 triumph over 10th-ranked UC Irvine. Senior Heather Fenske continued to be a consistent force in the net for the Scarlet and Black, notching 34 saves in four games.
A LOOK AT STANFORD AND SAN JOSE STATE
No. 2 Stanford (9-2 overall; 1-0 MPSF) is coming off a second-place showing at the UC Irvine Invitational, as the Cardinal dropped an 8-7 sudden death decision to top-ranked UCLA in the championship game. Lauren Silver scored seven goals over the weekend, upping her team-leading tally to 26 on the year. Silver is also fourth in the MPSF with a 2.36 goals per game average. Jacquelyn Gauthier is second on the team with 22 goals and is tied for 10th in the MPSF with 2.00 goals per game. John Tanner enters his 11th year at the helm of the Stanford women's water polo program. The four-time MPSF coach of the year has led his squad to a top-three national finish in each season since he took over in 1997.
Eighth-ranked San Jose State (8-6 overall; 1-1 MPSF) also competed in the UC Irvine Invitational last weekend, coming out with a seventh-place finish. The Spartan offense is led by Juliet Moss, who is eighth in the MPSF with a 2.07 goals per game average. Moss also ranks among the top 10 in SJSU history with 95 career goals. Lou Tully is in his 12th year as the Spartans' head coach.
San Diego State trails in its all-time series with Stanford by a 20-9 count. After winning the first seven meetings between the two teams, SDSU has dropped 20 of the last 22 contests. Last year, the Cardinal topped the Scarlet and Black, 14-8, in San Diego before ending the Aztecs' championship run with a 13-4 victory at the NCAA tournament in Los Alamitos, Calif. SDSU is looking to snap a 17-game losing streak to Stanford and pick up its first win at Avery Aquatic Center.
San Diego State leads in its all-time series with San Jose State by an 11-6 count. Last year, SDSU won, 11-9, in San Diego during the regular season before downing the Spartans, 10-6, in the fifth-place game at the MPSF tournament in Tempe, Ariz. The Aztecs are 3-1 when playing in San Jose.
AND THEY'RE OFF...
SDSU has been quick out of the gates this year, as it holds a 36-16 advantage over its competition in the first eight minutes of play. The Aztecs have led after the first quarter in 11 matches this year and have won all of their games when earning the opening period advantage.
In addition to jumping out to an early lead, SDSU has also proven that it can finish strong, outscoring its opponents 35-19 in the final quarter. The Aztecs have rallied in the fourth quarter to post two comeback victories this season, including in the Scarlet and Black's 10-9 victory over LMU in the championship game of the UCSD Triton Invitational. Overall, San Diego State has outscored its opponents 144-97.
AZTECS AMONG THE MPSF LEADERS
As of Feb. 25, Gonzales ranks third in the MPSF with a 2.38 goals per game average. In the same category, Schuster sits at No. 6 with 2.15 goals per game. Fenske is sixth among the league's goalkeepers, averaging 8.77 saves per game. As a team, the Aztecs are fifth in offensive production (10.28 goals/game) and also in defense (6.93 goals allowed/game).
MOVING ON UP
After last weekend's play at the UC Irvine Invitational, Schuster jumped to No. 7 on SDSU's all-time charts with 136 career goals, while Gonzales ranks seventh with 135. Ur remained second in school history with 212 career ejections drawn, while Greenwood stayed at No. 4 (148 ejections drawn). Gonzales (6th, 77 assists) and Greenwood (8th, 69 assists) also rank among the career assists leaders.
After opening the 2008 campaign in the comforts of its own home on Feb. 7, San Diego State will have played 16 games away from The Mesa after its first three MPSF matches. During its non-conference schedule, SDSU made the short trip across town to the Triton Invitational, the cross-country trek to the Princeton Invitational, and most recently made the drive north to the UC Irvine Invitational. The Aztecs will now begin league play with three road matches, including this weekend's contests at Stanford and San Jose State, as well as a 7 p.m. PT game at UC Irvine on Friday, March 7. SDSU will return to the Aztec Aquaplex, Sunday, March 9, when it hosts UCSB.
CRAWFORD IN CHARGE
Head coach Carin Crawford enters her 10th year at the helm of the San Diego State women's water polo team. In each of her nine seasons on Montezuma Mesa, the Scarlet and Black has never finished below 11th place in the final national rankings. In 2007, Crawford led the Aztecs into the national spotlight with a fourth-place finish in SDSU's first-ever appearance at the NCAA championships. During her tenure, the Aztecs have garnered 15 All-America awards and have also claimed 15 all-MPSF accolades. In addition, Crawford's players have earned 31 all-MPSF academic awards, as well as 27 ACWPC all-academic honors.