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Win Over Cal Sends Water Polo to Semifinals

Apr 30, 2021

TEMPE, ARIZ-- There's no place like home! Arizona State water polo defeated the California Golden Bears, 12-8, in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference Championship Tournament on Friday to set the Sun Devils up to face #1 seed USC on Saturday. The Sun Devils took a five-goal lead into the half and never looked back.

Despite dropping both games to Cal in the regular season, ASU's revenge came back at home in Tempe behind Lara Kiss's four goal performance to send them to the semifinal round of the MPSF Conference Championship Tournament. Cal, a team who had six All-MPSF players named on Thursday, was no match for the Sun Devils the third time around. The Sun Devil offense was fueled by six ASU scorers who each recorded at least one goal on Friday, and were able to take a six goal lead over California at one point.  

Chelsea Karimazondo had her best game of the season with 19 saves against the Golden Bears. This ties a record for fourth all-time in program history for saves in a single game behind E.B. Keeve (20), Caylinn Wallace (22), and E.B. Keeve (23). She held Cal to a 0.222 shooting percentage with eight goals on 36 shots.
 

Head Coach Todd Clapper Praised his team's performance after not having played since mid-April, "It's so great to see the team perform their best, and it's championship season. I am just so proud of them, the work they put in, and just playing together and having fun." 
 

UP NEXT: The Sun Devils are set to face the #1 seed, University of Southern California Trojans, on Saturday, May 1 at 2:00 PM MST. USC is coming off of their only regular season loss and a round one bye in the MPSF Conference Championship Tournament. The winner would go on to play in the championship game on Sunday at 2:00 PM MST, and the loser would play for third place on Sunday at 11:30 AM MST. The game is viewable via an MPSF TV subscription at mpsports.org/watch. Walk up tickets will also be made available to fans 15 minutes prior to game time. 

ASU 12, Cal 8
HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Arizona State scored the first three goals of the game to open with a 3-0 lead. 
  • Amira Van Buren (7:32), Luca Petovary (5:53), and Blaire McDowell (3:14) were the first three Sun Devil scorers.
  • Cal countered with two goals in the first, but Bori Kekesi's goal with 2:07 left in the first kept the Sun Devil lead 4-2 headed into the second period.
  • Cal scored first in the second period, but Lara Kiss countered back in just 30 seconds to keep the lead 5-3. 
  • Kiss's second goal came with 3:58 remaining in the second to extend the lead 6-3. 
  • Bori Kekesi and McDowell both scored with under a minute remaining in the second to give the Sun Devils an 8-3 lead headed into the half. 
  • ASU's eight goals against Cassidy Ball prompted Cal to make a goalie change for the remainder of the game.
  • The Sun Devils had a 9-3 lead 33 seconds into the third period behind Petovary's second goal.
  • Cal took two goals back to make it a 9-5 game.
  • Rogge scored on the penalty shot with 0:30 remaining in the third frame to extend the lead.
  • ASU led 10-5 headed into the final frame. 
  • Kiss scored both Sun Devils goals in the fourth period to secure the victory.