Post Season Preparation

    The 11th annual cup match, named in honor of 31-year tenured UCSD men’s head water polo coach Denny Harper, was also the Tritons’ last home game of the season.

    UCSD opened the cup by honoring its five graduating seniors: center Kirsten Bates, driver Katherine Biehle, utility Natalie Peng, goalkeeper Allie Taylor and attacker Jessica Tran.

    Despite the 5-10 score by the buzzer, the game remained close until midway into the second quarter.

    Goals from Tran and sophomore utility Sarah Lizotte tied the game at 2-2, before the Aztecs went on a 4-0 run.

    San Diego State’s Meaghan Poland and Amber Pezzolla teamed to put away four goals past Triton keeper Allie Taylor, to take a 6-2 lead into the second half.

    Taylor kept the Aztecs scoreless in the third quarter, as the Tritons pulled to within two, behind two goals from Lizotte.

    But in the fourth quarter, still down 4-6, the San Diego State offense caught fire, with four different Aztecs recording goals in the last period to cement the win.

    “We had talked all week long that if we play up to our potential, come out with some excitement, we can hang with any team in the country,” UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said. “The Aztecs are an amazing team and if we’re hanging with them, 1-0, 2-1, then hey, we’re ready for our conference championships next week.”

    Lizotte’s game high, four goals, tie her for the most goals in a single season with 84. Lizotte’s performance earned her co-MVP honors, shared with San Diego State’s Pezzolla.

    The Tritons now turn their attention to the WWPA conference tournament, to be held at Canyonview Pool this weekend, April 27-29.

    UCSD — the reigning WWPA champion — has secured the second seed with its 8-2 conference record. The Tritons sit behind first-seed Loyola Marymount, which defeated the Tritons 7-15 last month.

    The Lions enter the tournament with a perfect 10-0 WWPA record. Cal State Bakersfield, who defeated the Tritons back in February 11-12, sit in the third seed.

    UCSD’s first opponent will be seventh-seed Sonoma State (5-10).

    The Tritons have met Sonoma only once in 2012, defeating the Seawolves 14-9 in the beginning of March.

    “It’s going to sound cliché but we play Sonoma first, and that’s all we’re thinking about,” Kreutzkamp said. “There’s been too many mix-ups in the past for us not being ready for that first opponent, and we’ve already played Sonoma this year so we have game tape on them, and we’ll practice all week for Sonoma. All week.”

    UCSD’s first game is scheduled for this Friday, April 27 at Canyonview Pool at 4:30 p.m.

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