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Women's water polo set for UC Irvine Invitational

February 24, 2010

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Irvine, California
The eighth-ranked Arizona State University women's water polo team (4-3, 0-0 MPSF) will face No. 9 Cal State Northridge in the first game of the UC Irvine Invitational Feb. 27-28 in Irvine, Calif. ASU will play two games on Feb. 27 at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, Calif., with the first coming against the Matadors at 10:15 a.m. The Sun Devils will finish the weekend with a pair of games on Feb. 28.

In the field

The UC Irvine Invitational is made up of 16 teams, split into four divisions of four. The Sun Devils are in bracket A, which includes No. 1 Stanford, No. 9 CS Northridge and UC San Diego. ASU will play two games against division opponents before the field is seeded according to record. Fourteen of the 16 teams in the tournament are ranked in the top-20, including the top-11 teams in the country, according to the Feb. 17, 2010 National Collegiate Poll rankings.

Mighty Mariam
Sophomore attacker Mariam Salloum has collected a team-high seven assists and is tied for the team lead in goals with 11. Her 18 points pace the Sun Devils and her two hat tricks on the season are tied for tops on the squad. At the Stanford Invitational Feb. 6-7, Salloum notched four goals, three steals and a pair of assists.

Ahead of the pack
Freshman center Shannon Haas has netted five goals and a pair of steals in seven games this season. The team leader among freshman in goals and points found the back of the net three times during the Stanford Invitational Feb. 6-7 and has two multiple goal games on the season.

Picking up where she left off
Junior attacker Lynlee Smith recorded five goals in four matches Feb. 6-7 at the Stanford Invitational, including a hat trick in the 7th place game vs. San Jose State. The Auckland, New Zealand native has two hat tricks and three multiple goal games on the season, and has notched a goal in six of seven matches. Last year's leading scorer already has 11 goals on the season and her 76 career scores are eighth in school history.

Hats off
Sophomore attacker Kelsey White earned her first career hat trick Feb. 6 against No. 4 Cal at the Stanford Invitational. With seven goals and six assists on the season, the second-year player has more than doubled her numbers from last year. Her 13 points rank third on the team and her six steals are second best on the squad.

Group effort
Thirteen different Sun Devils have scored a goal through seven matches this season and 11 have recorded multiple goal games. ASU has also not been shy about distributing the ball as 12 players have an assist this year, including six with two or more in a game.

Bringing the sun to Irvine, California
The Sun Devils are 7-5 all-time at the UC Irvine Invitational. They went 2-2 and finished in sixth place last season, which included an upset of No. 5 Cal. In 2008, ASU placed 10th after going 3-1 and in 2007 they finished 11th after winning two games.

In the cage
Sophomore goalie Dana Harvey has recorded 53 saves and allowed just 23 goals in six starts this season. She ranks fourth in the MPSF with 8.83 saves per game and third in the conference with 3.83 goals allowed per match. In a win over San Jose State Feb. 7 at the Stanford Invitational, Harvey notched 11 saves and allowed just three goals. Freshman Amanda Young made her first career start Feb. 6 against No. 4 Cal, blocking seven shots in four quarters of play. She has collected 21 saves through four games this season.

Chasing history
With four goals and an assist in four games at the Stanford Invitational, senior attacker Bonnie Miles moved into sole possession of sixth place on the school's career points list with 132. She also now trails Teresa Wyborny by one for third place on the career assists list with 74. Senior center Kelly Phelps is in the top five in Sun Devil history in both goals scored (113) and points (156). She is fourth in goals scored with 113 and fifth in points with 156. In addition, she has 43 assists in her career, just two behind sixth place.

Cream of the crop
The Sun Devils have faced a ranked opponent in all seven of their matches this season, including three in the top-five and five in the top-10, according to the National Collegiate Poll rankings During the course of the season, they are set to play at least 16 teams ranked in the top-20 of that poll.

A busy summer
It was a busy July for the Sun Devils overseas as four student-athletes and head coach Todd Clapper competed in the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, while junior attacker Candice Phillippe played in the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. Smith, Harvey and Clapper represented New Zealand. Smith scored seven goals and had three assists in six games and Clapper led the squad to a third place finish in their group and 12th overall. Junior attacker Sarah Harris led South Africa in goals scored with eight, and Salloum had two goals and an assist for Germany in six games.

A look back at 2009 

For the first time in program history, the Sun Devils were ranked in the top-10 all last season. They moved as high as fifth in the March 4 poll and ended the season ranked 10th. The team started the season 6-0 and set a school record in average goals-per-game with 10 and a half. They had multiple All-Americans for the second season in a row as departed senior Addison McGrath was a First-Team selection and Smith collected Honorable Mention honors.

Annabelle and Sarah's excellent adventure
Sophomore attacker Annabelle Carter, a native of Sydney, Australia, and Harris, who hails from Cape Town, South Africa, joined the team in mid-January and will look to contribute immediately. Carter attended the Australia College of Physical Education in Sydney for two years and was selected to compete for the Australian U17 team in 2006 and the U20 team in 2008. Harris attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., for one year and then attended school back home in South Africa before coming to Tempe. Her team-high 102 points were tops in the MPSF, as was her 3.40 goals per game average. She was named an All-MPSF Honorable Mention, the lone freshman selected to any All-American Team.

California love
The Sun Devils may not play a home match until the end of March, but don't tell that to the players. Eleven girls are natives of California and all of their road matches are in the state of California. ASU will play invitationals at Stanford, UC Irvine and Cal Lutheran, and MPSF conference games at UCLA, Long Beach State, San Jose State and Stanford.

In the series...CS Northridge
The Sun Devils lead the all-time series with the Matadors 8-4. McGrath scored five goals to lead ASU over Northridge 10-9 last season at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Matadors were part of the MPSF from 2005 to 2008, and the Sun Devils were 3-1 against them in MPSF regular season games, losing to CS Northridge in 2005 before winning each of the last three years.

In the series...Stanford

Arizona State is 0-9 in its all-time series against Stanford. The Cardinal are one of three teams that ASU has never beaten in three or more meetings, joining UCLA (0-11) and Loyola Marymount (0-5). The Sun Devils lost to Stanford twice last season, including a thrilling 15-14 shootout Feb. 8.

In the series...UC San Diego
The Sun Devils lead the all-time series with San Diego, 3-3, and have won three in a row. ASU prevailed 8-4 the last time these two teams faced each other on March 30, 2008.

New kids on the block
The Sun Devils welcome seven freshman to the team this season: defender Becca Clopp, Haas, center Kramer Greenberg, attacker Morgan Leech, attacker Searra Silverberg, center Paige Walters and Young. In addition, Carter and Harris are in their first season with ASU.

So international
From South Africa to Germany, there are Sun Devils all over the world. Eight players from five different countries are on the ASU roster, meaning close to half of the team hails from outside of the United States. Harvey, sophomore center Bella Morrison and Smith are from New Zealand, White and Harris grew up in South Africa, Phillippe is a native of Canada, and Salloum is from Germany.

Next time out
The Sun Devils travel to Thousand Oaks, Calif., March 6-7 for the Cal Lutheran Invitational. This is the first year ASU has participated in this annual event.