Solid defensive effort propels team to victory

by Antonio Morales

Junior goalkeeper Kelly Campoli shined as she turned away shot after shot on Saturday during the No. 10 San Diego State water polo team’s home opener, as a great defensive effort helped propel SDSU to a 9-3 victory against visiting Long Beach State (0-3).

Campoli posted 20 saves and the Aztecs held LBSU to 9 percent shooting.

“Our defense was good,” Campoli said. “We played very intense. We came out focused and played really good team defense. Everybody was communicating out there.”

SDSU got off to a quick start in the first quarter as Amber Pezzolla and Alex Ford each scored a goal to give the Aztecs a 2-0 lead. But the 49ers scored the next two goals and headed into the second quarter tied at two goals apiece.

It was downhill from there for LBSU. SDSU scored the next seven goals before the 49ers tacked on a final one in the late minutes when the game had already been decided.

Even though the score was tied at two after one quarter, head coach Carin Crawford wasn’t worried about her team’s chances.

“I wasn’t too concerned after the first quarter,” Crawford said. “Towards the second half of the quarter we were pushing their offense farther away from the goal. We pushed the tempo and started to wear them down as the game wore on.”

The Aztecs pulled away in the second and third quarters scoring five goals while holding LBSU scoreless during those two quarters.

Senior driver and team captain Sarah Brady explained why the team’s defensive effort was so successful.

“We have been working on team defense and crashing all this week in practice and it showed today,” she said.

Brady, Pezzolla and junior Leanne Ford, whose efforts on defense was praised by the team, each scored two goals apiece. The Aztecs moved to 4-1 with the victory.