Undefeated Sunday puts No. 9 Aztecs back on track

by Antonio Morales

Playing against inferior opponents can sometimes cause a lack of focus. Luckily for the San Diego State water polo team, it came into Sunday’s game with the right mindset.

No. 9 SDSU jumped on inferior Whittier early with five goals in the first quarter, and kept attacking on its way to a 14-2 victory on Sunday at the Aztec Aquaplex.

Redshirt senior Ronni Gautschi noted the fast start was important for the team.

“We need to do that to win games,” Gautschi said. “We’ve had some problems with the first quarter, so we needed to jump on them right away.”

Junior utility Meaghan Poland stood out offensively for the Aztecs with five goals. Redshirt senior utility Ashley de Goede contributed three goals for SDSU.

But there was an unusual suspect who stood out for the Aztecs.

Back-up sophomore goalkeeper Erin Abrams received the chance to start in net and made the most of it by recording 12 saves.

Head coach Carin Crawford was pleased with Abrams’ play.

“Erin was brilliant,” Crawford said. “She had five saves in one quarter against Maryland and was blocking everything against Whittier. She is showing her maturity, she threw a couple of great passes, and she’s a great communicator out there.”

Earlier in the day, SDSU defeated Maryland 10-4. Crawford believes the Aztecs had a more well-rounded performance against the Terrapins.

“We did a better job of focusing against Maryland,” Crawford said. “We did a lot of the little things better against Maryland.”

SDSU went into halftime with a 6-1 lead against Maryland and led 10-2 after three quarters.

Gautschi and Poland scored two goals apiece for the Aztecs along with senior driver Sarah Brady.

Junior goalkeeper Kelly Campoli had 17 saves in three quarters of action, while Abrams added five saves in her quarter of playing time.

Gautschi said the team needed to jump on Maryland quickly.

“We needed to get on them right away,” Gautschi said. “We needed to set the tone for the rest of the day.”

The Aztecs improved their record to 14-9 on Sunday.