The ASU water polo team returned to California over the weekend in attempt to extend its winning streak at the UCSD Triton Invitational.
The Sun Devils were able to get three wins before falling in the championship game to No. 2 USC. Senior Shannon Haas scored 10 goals over the course of the tournament, and placed herself at third all-time in career goals at ASU.
The Sun Devils kicked off the tournament with a trouncing over Marist on Friday morning. Led by seniors Alicia Brightwell and Haas with two goals a piece, ASU raced out to a 7-2 at the end of the first quarter. The scoring wouldn’t end for Haas and the Sun Devils, as ASU continued to pile on the goals during the remaining three quarters. When the final horn rang, the Sun Devils were on the right end of a 15-4 blowout, led by Haas’s five goals.
ASU continued to cruise through the competition as it defeated host-UCSD with ease later that day. Brightwell this time led all ASU scorers as she recorded her sixth hat trick on the season. Haas also scored two goals for the Sun Devils, who held a comfortable 7-1 at halftime. ASU and UCSD exchanged a few goals in the second half, but the Sun Devils were able to hold their comfortable lead and finish off the Tritons 10-4. Redshirt freshman was an anchor for ASU in the net, recording 13 saves en route to her seventh double-digit save game of the season.
Saturday provided ASU its most tightly contested game this season. Going up against No. 6 UC Irvine, the Sun Devils found themselves facing a two goal deficit with just over two minutes left. Brightwell and sophomore Ao Gao scored each scored goal in the final two minutes to help send the game into over. Then in the first two overtime session, both squads exchanged goals forcing a third and decisive sudden death overtime period. With 45 seconds left in the match, Haas put away the game-winner to give ASU the 7-6 victory and send the Sun Devils to the championship game against MPSF-rival No. 2 USC.
In the Triton Invitational championship game, USC proved its water polo dominance and dominated the game from start to finish as it defeated ASU 13-6. With the game tied at 3-3 in the first quarter, the Trojans found the net twice in the final 45 seconds of the quarter to take a 5-3 lead after one period. USC continued the scoring in the next two period, adding three goals in the second period, and four more goals in the third. Haas continued to lead the Sun Devils in scoring as she finished the game with two goals.
The loss to USC is ASU’s first loss of the season, bringing the Sun Devils; record on the season to 9-1. The Sun Devils will get next weekend off and then return back to California to participate in the UC Irvine Tournament, their final tournament in the state.
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