No. 4 ASU water polo defeats No. 15 San Jose State on senior day

A three-goal performance by sophomore attacker Rosie Huck led the Devils to an 11-3 victory

The Sun Devils started strong on Saturday afternoon with a goal to open the match against No. 15 San Jose State University. Sophomore Rosie Huck struck first for ASU, sending the Sun Devils on a quick run in the match and ultimately leading to ASU's 11-3 victory over the Spartans. 

Junior Mia Rycraw's defensive stance stood strong for the Sun Devils as the goalkeeper put together two key saves in the first period.

The Spartans would respond to the Sun Devils offensive run with multiple shots on goal, but offensive fouls and steals allowed ASU to maintain its lead. Junior Lena Mihailovic swam right through the Spartans defense creating two goals, including a buzzer beater to end the first period 4-0.

From the opening sprint, the Spartans controlled the ball. SJSU's Carla Toha-Vilanova struck first for the Spartans with an assist by Cara Robinson. The Sun Devils answered back with blocks by the great wall of Rycraw. Despite penalties and turnovers by ASU, the women were able to head into the half with a 4-1 lead.

It wouldn’t take long for the Sun Devils to gain momentum in the second half after sophomore Maud Koopman and senior Stephanie Contreras notched another pair of goals to extend the Sun Devils' lead.

After opening up the game with a goal, Huck closed out her performance with a two-goal fourth period. Huck’s efforts were accompanied by junior Alkistis Benekou, who added a pair of goals herself.

The Spartans responded with a fast attack, but senior Taylor Barrett, who replaced Rycraw in the final period of play, stood strong and allowed only two goals in the closing seconds of the match. Barrett’s final saves of her regular season career allowed the Sun Devils to pull away to a 11-3 victory.

Head coach Todd Clapper spoke on the senior's performance.

“I thought they were great and I’m really appreciative of all they’ve done and contributed to the program,” Clapper said.

Senior Claudia Abad spoke on how impactful playing for ASU has been.

“I’ve been crying for three days and it’s really hard when you’re from Europe, you don’t know when you’re going to see these girls again,” Abad said. “These girls are not your friends, they’re your family.”

The Sun Devils will take two weeks off from gameplay before they travel to Los Angeles to compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. Goalkeeper Taylor Barrett is confident in her team’s ability.

“Our shots need to be more confident,” Barrett said. “But otherwise I think we’re a really strong team, and I think we can beat Cal.”

The Sun Devils will face off against Cal in the MPSF Championships in two weeks. The tournament will go from April 28 to April 30.


Reach the reporter at klbroder@asu.edu or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

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