The Daily Aztec

No. 20 SDSU suffers defeat to No. 17 Princeton

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Princeton freshman attacker Kailie McGeoy holds up the ball as senior driver Katrina King defends during the Aztecs 10-4 loss at the Aztec Aquaplex on March 19.

Princeton freshman attacker Kailie McGeoy holds up the ball as senior driver Katrina King defends during the Aztecs 10-4 loss at the Aztec Aquaplex on March 19.

Photo by Alex Vasquez

Photo by Alex Vasquez

Princeton freshman attacker Kailie McGeoy holds up the ball as senior driver Katrina King defends during the Aztecs 10-4 loss at the Aztec Aquaplex on March 19.

by Kyle Betz, Staff Writer

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No. 20 San Diego State water polo fell to No. 17 Princeton University, 10-4, on March 19 at the Aztec Aquaplex.

The loss was the second straight for the Aztecs, who are 3-8 in their last 11 games and 8-12 on the year.

Head coach Carin Crawford called a team meeting after the defeat, which lasted over 30 minutes and focused on the team’s poor play. 

“To play as poorly as we did, you can’t say there’s a lot of positives,” Crawford said. “Sometimes when you hit rock bottom, it is a test of your team’s character and it’s an opportunity to really dig deep and find out who we are as a team.”

The Aztecs defense suffered a letdown in the first quarter, after allowing a buzzer-beating goal which gave Princeton a 2-1 lead entering the second.

Crawford believes the goal could have easily been prevented.

“I definitely think that giving up that goal with three seconds to get out of the quarter, to me, that makes all the difference… that was a lapse of concentration,” Crawford said. “That’s an easily preventable goal if we press for three more seconds.”

Princeton held a 4-1 lead by halftime, and entered the fourth quarter with a 6-3 advantage.

Goals from freshman SDSU utility player Maddie Higginson and junior driver Hannah Carillo gave the Aztecs life in the third quarter, but Princeton responded with two goals of their own to extend its lead going into the final frame.

Carrillo was disappointed with her team’s showing against Princeton.

“We are definitely disappointed,” Carrillo said. “The whole team could’ve just done everything better. But we’re gonna work hard tomorrow (in practice) and we’re excited to get after it.”

In the fourth quarter, sophomore utility player Shelby Kraft scored a penalty goal for SDSU, but Princeton added four more to goals to their total to put the match out of reach.

Higginson said that the Aztecs can use the loss as a learning experience for the rest of the season.

“I think that this game was definitely not one of our best ones. We really need to come back with more energy, a better attitude, and more effort,” Higginson said. “We could’ve done way better in that game, but it’s always a learning experience when you don’t do as well as you know that you can.”

Junior goalkeeper Maura Cantoni was a bright spot for the Aztecs, recording eight saves for the second straight game to up her total to a team-high 130 on the season.

SDSU will look to improve on its record of 1-1 in Golden Coast Conference play on March 23, when the Aztecs face off on the road against Azusa Pacific University.

Carrillo said that she and her teammates will push each other throughout the week before the game.

“We are just going to check up on our intensity every few times in practice,” Carrillo said. “Just pushing each other is going to be a really big key, and being positive.”

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