Aztec Lacrosse stumbled at Arizona State but gut out a win against Oregon

Caption%3A+Junior+Camdyn+O%E2%80%99Donnell+had+four+goals+and+four+assists+and+set+a+program+record+of+eight+ground+balls+against+the+University+of+Oregon.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+SDSU+Athletics%29

SDSU Athletics

Caption: Junior Camdyn O’Donnell had four goals and four assists and set a program record of eight ground balls against the University of Oregon. (Photo courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

by Adam Correa, Staff Writer

The San Diego State Aztecs (2-3) lost to the Arizona State Sun Devils (1-2) 16-6 on Feb. 25 and defeated the University of Oregon Ducks (1-3) 18-15 on Feb. 27. The Scarlet and Black end their contests against four PAC-12 teams with a 2-2 record.

SDSU @ ASU Feb. 25:

Sun Devil redshirt freshman Katie Vahle — who allowed 27 goals before the game — made seven saves on nine shots on goal in the first half.

The Sun Devils offensive possession outweighed the Aztecs as they had 21 shots to the Aztecs 11.

The only two goals scored for the Aztecs were by senior Deanna Balsama, who had a total of four shots on goal in the first half.

Vahle gave the Aztecs many problems as she made quality saves to deny the Scarlet and Black.

The Sun Devils led 11-2 after two quarters.

Senior captain Bailey Brown started the second half with a goal to try to swing the momentum in the Aztecs’ favor. 

The Aztecs had more time of possession in the third quarter and it looked promising but then there was Vahle, who made two big saves on Brown and sophomore Brook Waddell.

The Scarlet and Black did not get much closer as they were down ten goals after the third quarter.

The Sun Devils got the momentum back in the forth and didn’t let the Aztecs get any closer.

Vahle was replaced by sophomore Flynn Murphy after making nine huge saves for the Sun Devils. 

Just like the third quarter, the Aztecs ended a half down by 10 and the final was 16-6 and the Sun Devils’ first win of the season.

Ten players for the Sun Devils scored in the game.

Balsama finished with four goals in the game and 18 on the season. 

SDSU @ University of Oregon Feb. 27:

It was a back and forth first quarter between the Aztecs and Ducks. Both teams had eight shots on goal and both goalies had four saves as it was tied 4-4 after the first quarter.

The Scarlet and Black went on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter with three goals scored by Balsama and junior Camdyn O’Donnell.

Then Aztecs defense felt the pressure as the Ducks powered in three goals to end the first half and that closed the lead on the Aztecs 10-7.

Although junior captain Sam Horan let in seven goals, she made six huge saves in the first half. Duck sophomore Cassidy Eckhert made six saves as well. 

Balsama and O’Donnell had themselves an electric first half. Four goals were scored by Balsama and O’Donnell had five points (three goals and two assists).

Brown started the scoring off in the third quarter just like she did at ASU. Then Balsama got a goal after a beautiful pass from O’Donnell.

Junior Alyssa Wright had three goals and redshirt senior Lillian Stump had two goals in the third quarter to make it a one-goal game 13-12.

Balsama started off the fourth quarter with a free-position goal and gave the Aztecs a two-goal lead.

After a goal from O’Donnell, junior Hanna Hilcoff sniped one past Horan which kept it at a two-goal game 15-13.

Balsama then got her seventh of the game to put the Aztecs up by three.

Hilcoff got her fifth of the game on a free-position opportunity to keep the Ducks within two. The Ducks had another opportunity to score but it was stopped by Horan.

Balsama gave the Aztecs a three-goal lead again with a free-position goal that made it 17-14.

After Waddell scored for the Aztecs, Hilcoff put in her sixth of the game in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter then time ran out. The Aztecs came away with a close one 18-15.

Balsama — who had 27 goals last season with George Mason — had eight goals (a program record) and one assist in the game and has 26 goals in the first five games of the season. She is the only Aztec player in program history to have two games with six or more goals.

O’Donnell finished the game with four goals (nine this season) and four assists. She set a program record with a total of eight ground balls. 

Head coach Kylee White said in a press release she was amazed by Balsama and O’Donnell’s performances.

“Deanna had an outstanding offensive performance,” White said. “Camdyn was amazing and her ground balls led to caused turnovers.”

Senior captain Shelby Hook said over Instagram she was excited about the win and ready for the next game. 

“Great team win,” Hook said. “Ready to get back home and prepare for the rest of the season.”

The Scarlet and Black will have a two-week break until their home opener against the Princeton Tigers (2-0), who have already beaten two nationally ranked teams (#10 Virginia and #20 Temple). That game will be on Saturday, March 12.