Aztec Water Polo enjoys some home cooking, go 2-0 in Aztec Mini Invite


Justin Cox

A shot of the action during an SDSU match at the Aztec Mini Invite.

by Justin Cox, Staff Writer

After a 2-8 start to the season, SDSU water polo needed a spark to get their season back on track. Luckily for them, the Aztec Mini Invite at the Aztec Aquaplex may have been just what was needed as the team went 2-0 beating both No. 25 CSU Northridge and No. 19 Princeton University on Sunday. Here is how the undefeated weekend came to fruition for the Aztecs.  

CSUN Game: 14-10 

After losing by one goal to CSUN earlier this season, the Aztecs wanted to even the score in their home opener. 

“We were all kind of crushed after losing by such a close score,” said freshman Rose Kanemy. “It felt good to come in and get revenge. We had really positive energy and I think it really benefited us.” 

Kanemy led the Aztecs in scoring, finding the back of the net five times in the Aztec victory but credited her teammates for her scoring output. 

“We were all looking to make the extra pass and make sure we weren’t being selfish,” she said. “Obviously it wouldn’t have been able to happen without good defense.” 

A key component to the Aztecs’ 14-goal output was their counterattack. On numerous occasions, long passes from senior goalkeeper Racquel de Pinho and other defenders after steals led to breakaway opportunities and easy goals for the Aztecs. 

“Our game plan was to press them and clearly our counter-attack game was rolling,” head coach Carin Crawford said. “That was really a key piece of our scoring output involving [Kanemy] as well as [senior Karli Canale].” 

Canale would chip in three goals herself including a breakaway after a beautiful assist from de Pinho. 

Despite the home pool advantage, CSUN jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the end of the first quarter as the Aztecs struggled to get their offense going. But after CSUN scored again to open the second, the Aztecs erupted with five unanswered goals to take a lead they would never surrender. 

The Aztecs closed the game with a strong fourth quarter firing six more goals past the CSUN goalkeeper to extinguish any hope of a comeback. 

“I think we had five goals in the second quarter and six goals in the fourth so that’s a really good output for us,” said Coach Crawford. “Giving up ten isn’t my favorite, but we were really clicking on offense.” 

Princeton Game: 12-11 Sudden Victory

The nightcap of the Aztec Mini Invite included the two victors from the morning matches as the Aztecs squeaked out a victory against the Princeton Tigers in the sudden victory period. 

Once again the Aztecs were slow out of the gate falling behind 4-1 in the second quarter, but the Aztecs answered with three goals to close the half including two from Kanemy and one from sophomore Dayna Bond. 

Both teams added five goals in the second half and after 32 minutes and a tie game, the teams headed to overtime. Princeton struck first in the first overtime period, but Kanemy continued her strong day scoring as time expired to send the game into a second overtime. Again, Princeton scored first to take a 11-10 lead, but the Aztecs had an answer as senior Spencer Samuel scored the equalizer to send the game to sudden victory. 

Sophomore Lauren Padilla was the match’s hero, scoring in the sudden victory period to clinch a 12-11 victory.

Looking Ahead 

The 2-0 weekend brings the Aztecs to 4-8 on the season as the team heads into this weekend’s Aztec Invitational on a three-game winning streak. Kanemy noted the team’s mindset never wavered despite the rough start. 

“We’re all keeping our heads up,” she said. “We all have a really good attitude and a positive energy in and out of the water so I think the more we keep it up, the more we’ll start seeing some W’s.”