Water Polo Coasts to Victory Against No. 17 LMU
TEMPE- Ariz.- The No. 9 Sun Devils showed just what they are capable of against No. 17 Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Playing with long passages of rhythm and being able to dictate the game gave the Sun Devils the edge they needed to push past the Lions for their first victory of the season.
The senior, Emma Fraser, broke the deadlock with just over four minutes to go in the first quarter, who would also contribute two assists later in the game. The Hungarian sophomore, Luca Petovary, added a second goal to the game, which would end up propelling her to be the joint leading scorer of the game, with three. Vanda Baska, the fellow joint leading scorer, closed out the first quarter with a goal to make it 3-0. As dominant as the Sun Devils looked offensively, the same could be said defensively, with them holding the Lions to a clean sheet in the first quarter.
Less than twenty seconds into the second quarter Baska added a second goal to her name as a result of a penalty given to the Sun Devils. Leading 4-1, Borbala Kekesi sought out Emily Bennett, and with a sailing shot over two defenders and the goalkeeper, Bennett netted in her first of the game to put them up 5-1. Another penalty shot was awarded to the Sun Devils and Bori Kekesi buried it, putting her name on the scoresheet. The Sun Devils conceded two goals in the second quarter but maintained a comfortable lead of 6-2 to go into the third quarter.
...also can we admire Bori's penalty shot ?? pic.twitter.com/hCHe26qMKH
— Sun Devil Water Polo (@SunDevilWP) January 29, 2022
Less than 30 seconds into the third quarter, Baska secured her second hat trick of her career. Baska's third goal of the game also meant in all four games played this season, she has never scored less than two. A penalty shot from Bianca Becerra meant she would be another to appear on the scoresheet. On the opposite end, Itzahiana Baca showed her resilience with two saves in the matter of seconds, which would add to her tally of five saves on the day. The captain, Amira Van Buren scored two goals back-to-back to put them up by six. As time was running down, Petovary got herself a second goal with just four seconds left in the third.
Winning 11-4 at the end of three periods, Blaire McDowell pushed the lead to eight after making a successful sprint to the Lions' side, being picked out, forcing the Lions' goalkeeper to make a move, which left McDowell with an opportunity to score. On a trek to match Baska's total of three, Petovary would also end up securing a hat trick to put the maroon and gold up 13-5. Ali Cameron and Abby Begg would bury their chances, making them the tenth and eleventh Sun Devils to score in the match, boosting the score to a final of 16-8.
Compared to last week's tournament, the Sun Devils were able to spread out where the goals came from. This season the group has "a really big scoring presence, so it's really nice to see a lot of different people get touches and get shots," as head coach, Todd Clapper states. Efficiency was also clear, as half of the Sun Devils' shots (32) were converted into goals (16). Facing off against Loyola Marymount a second time on Sunday, January 30th at 9:00 am, Clapper and company will look to carry out the consistent rhythm the Sun Devils showcased today, as well as the distribution of goalscoring.