ASU water polo makes offensive adjustments in preparation for California

Junior utility player Liz Kreek passes to an open player in a home game against USC on March 1. (Photo by Mario Mendez)

Junior utility player Liz Kreek passes to an open player in a home game against USC on March 1. (Photo by Mario Mendez)

After some tough losses against Stanford and San Jose State, ASU water polo is back in action April 12 for a home game against California.

The team dropped both of its games in California, falling 14-4 against Stanford and 7-5 against San Jose.

Redshirt sophomore goalie E.B. Keeve had a solid weekend for the Sun Devils, saving 22 goals throughout the two games.

 

 

She saved 13 against San Jose and nine against Stanford.

Keeve said the team’s downfall was not being confident in its shooting abilities and not focusing enough on its shots.

“I definitely think we had a mental block for sure,” Keeve said. “We were so afraid of shooting outside that we just never took the shots.”

Keeve said the team only took shots in the last minutes of each game because at that point, the Sun Devils were down by several points.

She said the team needs to become more confident and not only shoot when they have nothing to lose.

In the Stanford game, the team lost its groove and couldn’t bring it back, Keeve said.

“(Stanford) figured out what we were going to do and we didn’t adjust our plays,” she said.

Keeve said the team should have adjusted better in both games and not let the other teams’ abilities “psych them out.”

She said she hopes the team can adjust against Cal and shift its play to match what the Golden Bears are defending.

Keeve said neither Stanford nor San Jose took a lot of outside shots and the Sun Devils didn’t do a good job of defending the inside.

“We need to cover center and the inside shots this weekend,” she said.

Keeve said she believes not a lot of teams in general take a ton of outside shots.

She said if ASU can work on guarding the inside shots and force shots to be taken outside, it can be successful against Cal.

The Sun Devils previously struggled with defense but the struggles turned to offense this time.

The team consistently worked on shooting drills and offensive plays in practice in order to overcome the struggles they faced.

The Sun Devils worked on some defense and blocking the middle; however, they honed in on offense in order to score more goals in the upcoming games.

Cal won its last game against Cal State Northridge 15-10.

The Golden Bears are currently ranked No. 4 and have had some time off before coming to Tempe on Saturday.

ASU faces off against Cal at 1 p.m. at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex.

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