Tritons Go 0–4 in Hawaii

     

    The Tritons fell to NCAA Division I opponents to No. 6 San Diego State 5–9, No. 2 Stanford 4–17, No. 8 University of Hawaii 6–9 and No. 17 UC Santa Barbara 9–12. Junior captain Sarah Lizotte, a 2012 All-American, was UCSD’s top scorer at the tournament, slating seven goals in the four matches. She was buttressed by consistent play from junior center Melissa Bartow and sophomore attacker Rachel Brooks, who both scored three goals apiece at the invitational.

    Defensively, freshman goalkeeper Courtney Miller — earning 216 saves this season, the most in the WWPA — got put to the test. Miller picked up 25 saves over last week’s affair.

    “The teams we saw in Hawaii were all top teams,” Lizotte said. “And so when you play teams of that caliber, it’s always hard to stay motivated for the whole game and keep that spirit and positive attitude up. We struggled mentally and let the game get away with us at times, but I don’t think we performed horribly. Overall, we hung in there for three of the four games, but there are still a lot of little things that we need to work on.”

    After four straight losses, the Tritons have fallen two spots in the national standings. However, UCSD remains in second place in the Western Water Polo Association. With a 14–12 record (3–0 in the WWPA), for a schedule that Lizotte stresses was planned to be particularly rigorous, the Tritons sit well behind first place Loyola Marymount University (15–7 overall, 6–1 in the WWPA).

    “We need to go 4–0 against our conference opponents this weekend,” Lizotte said. “If we leave that tournament with good results, it will really help us going into the conference tournament.”

    UCSD returns to WWPA play this weekend at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, April 6 to April 7. The Tritons will face Colorado State University and Sonoma State in the opening day. On April 7, UCSD takes on Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay.

    When asked where Lizotte would like to see improvement in the pool, the junior pointed to UCSD’s five-man defense.

    “I think one of the biggest areas of improvement that needs to be addressed is the five-man defense, or man-down defense,” Lizotte said. “This past weekend, we didn’t play our best man-down defense, and we definitely paid for it. Going forward, I definitely think that’s something we need to work on, and something we might be working on in practice this week as well.”

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