Water polo splits games in California

After a disappointing loss to Cal on Saturday, the Arizona State water polo team rebounded with a win against Cal State Monterey Bay on Sunday.

Despite junior Kelsey White’s four goals, the No. 8 Sun Devils (2-4, 0-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) lost 11-7 to the No. 4 Golden Bears (10-2, 1-0 MPSF).

Although it was ASU’s second loss in as many weeks, ASU coach Todd Clapper was pleased with his team’s performance this time around.

“Against Cal we played a lot better than we did all of last weekend,” Clapper said. “It’s a bummer to lose, but I thought we played pretty well.”

ASU fell behind early and was never able to regain momentum.

“We played down most of the game,” Clapper said. “We missed a few good opportunities [to score] early and gain some momentum.”

The Sun Devils made several attempts to cut into Cal’s lead, but the Golden Bears always had an answer. Cal had three different players with multiple goals.

The season is still young, but the loss extends ASU’s conference losing streak that began on April 19, 2008.

The Sun Devils bounced back from Saturday’s loss and snapped a three game losing streak with a 16-7 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay (4-7) on Sunday.

“It was a weird game,” Clapper said. “They run a lot of really different things on offense and defense that took us by surprise, and we had to make some adjustments.”

The Sun Devils were able to take an early lead and control the game, as they scored six goals in the first quarter and led 11-4 at halftime.

Despite the large margin of victory, Clapper was not completely happy with the game.

“I’m kind of disappointed that we gave up seven goals in that game,” Clapper said.

The defense may have been slightly disappointing, but Clapper was pleased with his team’s offensive performance.

Junior Mariam Salloum led the offensive outburst with a season-high five goals.

“She’s playing really well,” Clapper said. “She’s relaxed and confident in games and doing really well.”

Salloum was not the only Sun Devil who impressed on offense, as five other Sun Devils scored at least one goal.

Junior Annabelle Carter scored three goals and seniors Lynlee Smith and Sarah Harris also scored three times.

The Sun Devils have next week off, but will then make their third trip to California this season for the UC Irvine Invitational on Feb. 26 and 27.

Reach the reporter at william.boor@asu.edu