No. 20 SDSU water polo drop two games to ranked opponents, open conference play with a loss.


Justin Cox

A water polo match at the Aztec Aquaplex during the Aztec Mini Invite on March 6.

by Justin Cox, Staff Writer

No. 20 SDSU water polo opened Gold Coast Conference play with a 12-11 heartbreaker, losing to No. 16 Loyola Marymount by one goal on Saturday, March 9 in Los Angeles. 

The Aztecs were outscored 2-1 in the final 2:30 of the fourth quarter as SDSU suffered its third loss of the season to the Lions. 

Sophomore Lauren Padilla — who scored the game’s opening goal — and LMU traded opening goals before seniors Lucia Carballo and Sydney Hurst scored back-to-back goals to put the Aztecs up 3-1. LMU closed the quarter with two of its own and scored four more goals in the second quarter despite Hurst and junior Danni Croteau each scoring to bring the halftime score to 7-5.  

Freshman Rose Kanemy and senior Spencer Samuel traded goals with the Lions in the third quarter as the Aztecs entered the final quarter down 9-7.

Behind senior Karli Canale’s first and Hurst’s third goal of the game, the Aztecs tied the game to open the fourth quarter. The Lions took a brief lead with 4:47 remaining in the game, but Padilla scored the equalizer just 28 seconds later. 

The Lions proved just too strong for the Aztecs as they tallied two goals at both the 2:21 and 1:44 mark while Kanemy scored one final goal with 1:27 left to bring the final score to 12-11. 

UC Irvine Game 

The Aztecs finished up their weekend with a non-conference game against the No. 6 UC Irvine Anteaters on Sunday. 

SDSU couldn’t quite complete the comeback in the 14-10 loss as the Anteaters dominated the first and third quarters, outscoring the Aztecs 9-3. 

UCI started the game with two quick goals and despite junior Katie Ratcliff’s goal, the Aztecs found themselves down 4-1 after the first. 

Canale scored twice in the second quarter to add to Ratcliff’s second goal of the game, but UCI equaled the SDSU output scoring three goals in the second to goal into half up 7-4. 

Kanemy and Canale each added goals in the third quarter, but the Anteaters answered with an avalanche, scoring five goals in the quarter to take a commanding 12-6 advantage. 

Padilla and Kanemy each scored twice in the fourth, but the lead was far too large to overcome as the Anteaters added two of their own to put the game away. 

Up Next 

The Aztecs will look to bounce back this week with four games at the SDSU Aquaplex including a conference matchup with Azusa Pacific on March 25 and the second Aztec Mini Invite over the weekend.