ASU water polo thrives despite lack of competition

The ASU water polo team dominated its competition at the ASU Invitational Saturday and Sunday, outscoring its challengers 64-5 during the three-day tournament.

The Sun Devils averaged 16 goals per game and won each game by a fairly large margin of points.

“We weren’t really tested that strongly,” coach Todd Clapper said. “We were able to work on some things, and it was a productive weekend.”

 

 

ASU started off the tournament with a 14-1 win over Marist on Friday, March 14.

Eight players from the Sun Devils scored against Marist, led by sophomore center Abbey Kerth, who scored four goals.

Those four goals were the most she had scored in a single game in her career.

Clapper said Kerth’s play stood out to him above the other players throughout the weekend.

“Abbey really played well at center,” he said. “She drew exclusions and scored a lot of goals.”

Clapper said Kerth really took control of the game and was able to make a lot happen in each game.

Junior attacker Annie Kertes scored three goals against Marist as well.

Kertes and Kerth combined for half the team’s goals, despite not typically being starters.

Saturday, ASU defeated CSU Bakersfield 14-3 to start off the day and later dominated Occidental, 16-1.

Junior attacker Petra Pardi was the Sun Devils’ top scorer of the day, with nine goals throughout the two games.

Pardi scored four goals against CSUB and five goals against Occidental.

Pardi’s nine-goal game set an ASU record for most career games with five or more goals. Those games marked the fifth time she accomplished that record in her three years with the Sun Devils.

The ASU defense was very strong the entire weekend, not letting its opponents score frequently.

The defense was especially dominant against Occidental.

Occidental scored its lone goal with 2:35 left in the game.

ASU topped off its winning weekend by defeating Whittier College 20-1 on Sunday, March 16.

The Sun Devils scored one goal per minute in the first quarter, ending the quarter with an 8-0 lead.

Kerth scored five goals, which broke the career-high number she made earlier in the tournament.

The 19-goal difference between ASU and Whittier is the second-largest margin in the history of ASU water polo.

The 20 goals the team scored tied an ASU record for the fifth-most goals in a single game.

The tournament brought ASU’s record to 13-6 on the season and 1-2 in MPSF play.

The team will have two weeks off before its next game against Stanford on April 5 in Palo Alto, Calif.

Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy