SAN DIEGO, Calif.—No. 14 San Diego State rallied from a 5-2 third quarter deficit to defeated No. 22 CSU Bakersfield 6-5 in water polo action Tuesday afternoon.
Kristen Jensen put the ‘Runners up 1-0 with a goal 4:39 into the first quarter. Katie Benson extended the lead to 2-0 with an even strength a little over two minutes later. Ioli Benekou scored with one second remaining in the first period to cut the CSUB lead in half.
Alyssa Diacono tied the match with a power play goal with just under four minutes to play in the second period. CSUB regained the lead the next time down when Ashley Paz converted a Jensen pass on a Roadrunner power play.
Paz drew an exclusion and took advantage, scoring a power play goal 3:42 into the third period. Paz completed the hat trick with another power play tally to put the ‘Runners up 5-2. Diacono and Caroline Israels scored on each of the next two Aztec possessions to cut the lead to one.
Paz fouled out early in the fourth quarter, but the ‘Runners killed off the resulting 6-on-5. Nearly four minutes went by before Hannah Carillo tied the game when she took a long pass from Aztec goalie Kate McDonnell and scored. On the ensuing CSUB possession, Jensen had an attempt blocked by the SDSU defense. The Roadrunners got the ball back, but Nicola Barrett’s shot went off the post.
The Aztecs regained possession and went ahead for the first time when Diacono completed a hat trick. CSUB took over on offense where Jada Helberg drew an exclusion on Makena Margo with 2:36 to play. The Roadrunners failed to take advantage as Courtney Jarvis stole the ball. CSUB goalie Courtney Wahlstrom came out of the net as the Aztecs went on the attack. She made a steal to get the ball back for the ‘Runners.
With 1:44 to go in the match, Helberg drew an exclusion on Shelby Kraft to put the Roadrunners on the power play for the fifth time. SDSU killed off the 6-on-5 and turned away a Benson shot. With possession, the Aztecs called timeout. Helberg made a steal to get CSUB back on offense. The ‘Runners turned the ball over for the 20th time in the game as Lizzy Bilz made a steal shortly before the final buzzer to clinch the victory for the Aztecs (15-12).
"San Diego State is a good team and we went goal for goal with them," said CSUB head coach Jason Gall. "Our first haf was probably the best of the year. Jensen did a lot of good things to help us and we did a good job of helping Courtney in the cage. We had two power plays at the end of the game we need to convert on that we didn't."
The Roadrunners (12-14) conclude the regular season Apr. 21 at No. 16 San Jose State. Action gets underway at 1 p.m.
SDSU 1 1 2 2 6
CSUB 2 1 2 0 5
San Diego State Goals- Alyssa Diacono 3, Ioli Benekou 1, Caroline Israels 1, Hannah Carrillo 1.
San Diego State Saves-Kate McDonnell 7
CSUB Saves-Courtney Wahlstrom 5