Water polo drops two ranked matchups at the Stanford Invitational.

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Courtesy of Derrick Tuskan, SDSU Athletics

San Diego State water polo freshman utility player Laurene Padilla attempts a shot during the Aztecs’ 11-4 win over No. 18 Loyola Marymount on March 20, 2021 at the Aztec Aquaplex.

by Justin Cox, Staff Writer

In a return to the pool, the 18th ranked San Diego State women’s water polo team stumbled at the Stanford Invitational dropping games to No. 9 Arizona State, and No. 2 Stanford. 

Despite sophomore Laurene Padilla’s three goals against Arizona State and two against Stanford, the Pac 12 powers proved too strong, defeating the Aztecs 11-6 and 19-4 respectively. 

Both games were characterized by slow Aztec starts as the Sun Devils jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead before sophomore Dayna Bond put the Aztecs on the board with the team’s first goal of the season. After another Sun Devil goal, senior Delaney Binette found the back of the net with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter to cut the deficit to two. 

Binette and Padilla each added goals before the half, but the Sun Devils stretched the lead to three as the teams headed into half at a score of 7-4. Padilla scored two second-half goals, but the rest of the Aztec offense was stifled by ASU’s defense in the 11-6 loss. 

The second-ranked Stanford Cardinal proved their might as they tacked on five first-quarter goals before senior Spencer Samuel snuck one through with only two seconds left in the first quarter to bring the score to 5-1. Senior Karli Canale and Padilla each had second-quarter scores, but the Cardinal scored six goals in the second quarter to put the game out of reach. 

Once again, the Aztec offense froze, as only Padilla managed to score in the second half as the Aztecs fell 19-4.  

The Aztecs will look to rebound this weekend as they travel to La Jolla for the Triton Invitational and a matchup with UC San Diego.