Sun Devil Water Polo Picks Up Two More W's at UCSB Winter Invite
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The No. 5 Arizona State University water polo team continued their undefeated start to the season, defeating No. 13 UC San Diego and Azusa Pacific at the UCSB Winter Invite in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Sun Devils improved to 4-0 in their opening weekend of action after knocking off San Diego, 9-5, and Azusa Pacific, 16-8, in back-to-back games Saturday afternoon.
ASU got another hat trick from Izabella Chiappini in the opener while Alkistis Benekou matched an ASU record with second goals in the second half of the double header to pace the way for ASU.
ASU will wrap up its opening weekend of action tomorrow with games against CSU Bakersfield at 9:15 a.m. MT and host UC Santa Barbara at 5:15 p.m.
Recaps of today’s action can be found below.
No. 5 ASU 9, No. 13 UC San Diego 5
Izabella Chiappini had her third consecutive hat track of the season, scoring a goal in each of the first three periods of the game.
ASU jumped on the Tritons early, blitzing San Diego for four first quarter goals while E.B. Keeve stopped nine shots in three quarters of action to keep UCSD from ever getting back in the game.
Keeve held San Diego to just one goal in the third quarter while ASU took a commanding 9-3 lead to allow reserve goalkeeper Mia Rycraw to come in and finish the action.
Daisy Carter added two goals in the contest while Lena Mihailovic, Claudia Abad, Alkistis Benekou and Petra Pardi all added a goal to help complete the effort and ASU’s second victory over a ranked team this season.
No. 5 ASU 16, Azusa Pacific 8
Alkistis Benekou became the fifth Sun Devil to score seven goals in a game, matching the ASU school record and becoming the first to do so since Alicia Brightwell on April 29, 2012.
The performance helped pave the way for an assertive 16-8 victory over Azusa Pacific to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Benekou bested her previous best of six goals and it was the fourth time in her career that she has logged five or more goals in a game, also matching an ASU school record despite being just a sophomore.
Stephanie Contreras added her first career hat trick as well to help supplement Benekou’s offensive onslaught.
Daisy Carter, Izabella Chiappini, Claudia Abad, Petra Pardi, Abbey Kerth and Taylor Johnson all had goals as well for the Sun Devils.
Redshirt freshman Mia Rycraw made her first career start, posting her first double-digit saves game with 10 stops in the contest.