Aztecs Ready to Defend Harper Cup for 11th Straight Year
April 19, 2012
SAN DIEGO - The ninth-ranked San Diego State women's water polo team will wrap up the 2012 regular season on Friday when it travels to UC San Diego for the 11th annual Harper Cup game. The non-conference tilt is set for 6 p.m. PT on the UCSD campus.
The Aztecs enter the yearly game having never relinquished the Cup. SDSU and UC San Diego have played for the Harper Cup 10 times and the Aztecs have been victorious each time. Last season, San Diego State cruised to a 15-7 victory at Aztec Aquaplex. In 2010, the last time the game was played at Canyonview Pool, SDSU earned an 11-3 decision.
The Harper Cup is named for former UC San Diego men's water polo coach Denny Harper, who played at San Diego State as an undergraduate and established the SDSU women's water polo club team. Harper graduated from SDSU in 1978, before coaching the UCSD women's team to five collegiate national championships from 1985-1999.
San Diego State carries a three-game winning streak into the regular-season finale after posting a 2-0 record last week. The Aztecs traveled to Orange, Calif., and defeated Chapman, 22-2, and Redlands, 12-5. Over the two games, Amber Pezzolla led all Aztecs with eight goals, including a game-high six vs. Redlands. Leanne Ford, meanwhile, set the tone in the first game of the doubleheader with six goals vs. Chapman. The six-goal performances by both players established a SDSU single-game high.
Anique Hermann enjoyed a solid week in Orange County as she tallied two goals, a team-high eight assists and four steals, while committing zero turnovers. As a result of her performance, the freshman from San Diego was named MPSF Newcomer of the Week on Monday. The award is the first of her career and second in program history. In 2010, Pezzolla became the first Aztec to be honored when she was a freshman.
The Tritons (19-12) come into their last regular season game having won four straight, all of which came at The Bronco in Santa Clara, Calif. UCSD, which is the first team out of the national top-20 poll, lost its last home game back on April 6, to Cal Baptist. But despite the hiccup, the Tritons have won four of their last five at Canyonview.
Following the game at UC San Diego, the Aztecs will prepare for the MPSF Championship at Stanford. The league tournament is set for April 27-April 29.