San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec




San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Pacific Tigers’ hot start dooms SDSU Water Polo in 14-8 loss

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SDSU Athletics/Derrick Tuskan
Defender Lucia Carballo looks to move the ball during SDSU’s match against LMU. (Photo Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

In a battle for third place in the Golden Coast Conference water polo standings, the No. 20 Aztecs failed to keep pace with the No. 16 University of Pacific Tiger offense, losing 14-8 on Saturday at the Aztec Aquaplex. 

The Tigers’ hot start included goals on all four of their first four shots and four straight after senior Karli Canale’s goal opened the scoring for the Aztecs early in the first quarter. The Tigers’ early scoring binge gave them a lead they held for the remainder of the game. 

Pacific’s sophomore goalkeeper Clara Vulpisi plays for the Canadian water polo national team and displayed her talent as she tallied 13 saves and allowed her teammates to build a commanding lead while snuffing out any chance of an Aztec comeback. 

“Obviously a disappointing loss,” said head coach Carin Crawford, “In the first half our shots weren’t on goal, and in the second half, we got our shots on goal, but their goalie was outstanding. I thought we put up some good attempts that she turned away.” 

One Aztec to find success on offense was junior Katie Ratcliff, who totaled three goals to earn a hat trick including an impressive quick flip shot after an assist from senior Spencer Samuel.

“I thought our offense was more effective when we were scoring close to the goal,” Crawford said. “Ratcliff had a couple of good close-in drives and redirects.” 

One clear advantage for Pacific was their execution on power plays. The Tigers went 5-6 on power play chances while the Aztecs went only 1-4. The failure to capitalize on these chances made it increasingly difficult for the Aztecs to keep pace with the Tigers offense. 

Despite entering the fourth quarter down 12-5, the Aztecs upped their intensity and won the fourth quarter 3-2 behind goals from Samuel (2), and freshman Rose Kanemy (1). Crawford was pleased with the fourth quarter performance but noted that the Aztecs would have to improve upon their power play numbers and their intensity throughout the entirety of the game going forward, with just two games remaining before the Golden Coast Championships. 

“We need to take the next week and figure out how to play with a kind of urgency at the very start of the game through all four quarters,” she said. “I feel like if we had put a few goals away in the first half, we could have kept it closer, but we let it get away from us early.” 

The Aztecs will be back in action on Thursday with an away game against California Baptist before the Aztec senior night on Saturday against crosstown rival UC San Diego.

About the Contributor
Justin Cox, '22-23 Sports Editor
Justin Cox (he/him) is a senior journalism major from Sonoma, California. He is excited to be a Co-Sports Editor of The Daily Aztec for the 2022-23 academic year. Previously, Cox was a sports section staff writer covering a multitude of Aztec sports including basketball, water polo, soccer and tennis. He is excited to head the sports section alongside Co-Editor Morgan Prickett with the hopes of providing fresh and engaging content for the student body. Before coming to The Daily Aztec, Cox spent time as an intern for the Sonoma Index-Tribune covering local news and was also published in the Sonoma Sun newspaper. Cox can often be found watching sports, running or going to the beach in his free time. 
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Pacific Tigers’ hot start dooms SDSU Water Polo in 14-8 loss