Tritons Lose 14th Annual Harper Cup

    Photo by Alwin Szeto
    Photo by Alwin Szeto

    Women’s Water Polo could not retain the Harper Cup after last year’s win and fall 3-6 to San Diego State.

    Photo by Alwin Szeto
    Photo by Alwin Szeto

    The UCSD women’s water polo team fell to No. 18 San Diego State this past Saturday at Aztec Aquaplex. The 6–3 loss was mainly due to a rough start from which the Tritons could not recover.

    Due to the defeat, the Tritons lost the Harper Cup, which is named after current UCSD men’s water polo coach Denny Harper, who graduated from SDSU. The Tritons had previously won the Harper Cup from the Aztecs for the first time in its 13-year history in 2014. Despite high hopes of holding on to the Harper Cup following a hard-earned overtime win last week, the Tritons just couldn’t make it happen.

    As a result of the game, the Tritons’ record fell to 16–18 while the Aztecs improved to a 16–14 overall record.

    The Aztecs started off the game scoring two times in the first quarter and continued to dominate in the second quarter by scoring two more times. The first half ended with the Aztecs holding the Tritons scoreless with a count of 4–0. Sophomore utility Caroline Israels and senior utility Carina Carballo scored two of those goals, both times assisted by junior utility Nikole Ferrari. The other two goals came from sophomore defender Ioli Benekou and sophomore center Alyssa Diacono.

    The second half of the game started with another goal from SDSU, scored by senior driver Anique Hermann. This time, however, UCSD answered back, with senior attacker Jolene Guiliana putting up the first goal on the scoreboard for UCSD off an assist from sophomore attacker Lani Tittle. Unfortunately for UCSD, Hermann scored again for SDSU in the final minute of the third period, strengthening the Aztecs’ lead.

    The Tritons came out with a vengeance in the final quarter, playing stellar offense and defense. They kept the Aztecs scoreless in the final fourth period and managed to rally behind two goals, both scored by junior attacker Laurel Kistler. Despite the impressive performance from the team, the Tritons could not achieve enough to come back and ended up falling short with the final count ending at 6–3, in favor of SDSU.

    “I just don’t know, the cage just wasn’t our friend today on the offensive side; we couldn’t put it anywhere near there,” UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp told the UCSD Athletics Department. “Well, this [game] leaves us, leaves the team, knowing that they have some work to do. We can’t show up and just have goals score themselves … Hopefully, they’ll learn from it.”

    Following this tough loss, the Triton women will head up to Geneva, Ohio next weekend, April 24 to 26, to compete in the upcoming Western Water Polo Association Championship.

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