Time to step up.
After redshirting her first season at ASU, freshman E.B. Keeve will get an opportunity to start at goalie for the water polo team since junior Ianeta Hutchinson has been sidelined with a hand injury.
Keeve will have some big shoes to fill. Hutchinson has had a nice career in her two seasons at ASU so far.
Since starting her freshman year, Hutchinson has racked up 452 saves — ranking her second in school history. The junior from New Zealand also ranks fourth all-time in saves per game after the 2012 season with an average of 9.06.
Her tight goal keeping helped lead the Sun Devils to its winningest record in program history.
Her replacement, Keeve, was a high school standout in her hometown of Naperville, Ill. She holds a few major goalie records despite only playing competitively for three years.
Keeve could be a formidable replacement for Hutchinson as she sports a huge 6-foot-8-inch wingspan.
Coach Clapper jumps back into pool
With the injury to Hutchinson, the Sun Devils are left with only one goalie on the roster.
There is a need for two goalies to run an efficient practice, and coach Todd Clapper is taking matters into his own hands.
For the time being, Clapper has been serving as the second goalie to help keep practices running smoothly.
“I’ve been having to get in a little bit more often this season so far,” Clapper said. “It’s good, because I can coach kind of a little bit from the pool and work with one team, but the down side is that when that’s happening a lot of times, I lose a bit of a connection with the other team that’s playing.”
Sophomore offers unique experience
As a sophomore, attacker Ao Gao is not experienced at the collegiate level but is very seasoned at the international level.
Over this past summer, Gao competed in the Olympics as a member of the Chinese National Water Polo team. London wasn’t Gao’s first experience in international competition.
Also part of the national team, she placed fifth in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and placed third in the 2010 World Cup.
Clapper patient with the freshmen
Clapper won’t be so quick to demand high-minutes from his freshmen early on in the season.
“We’re going to try to get them some experience when we can early on and see how they can kind of grow into those positions,” Clapper said. “They’re doing a great job. It’s just there’s a lot of experience ahead of them, so it’s just a matter of them kind of taking that experience that they get in games and really running with it and slowly kind of more defining their role as the season goes on.”
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