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ASU water polo finishes as runner-up at Triton Invitational

February 11, 2013

The No. 5 Arizona State University water polo team finished as the runners-up on Feb. 10, as the team wrapped up competition at the UCSD Triton Invitational in San Diego.

ASU won a dramatic sudden overtime matchup against No. 6 UC Irvine to advance to Sunday evening's final, where the team fell to No. 2 USC, 13-6.

ASU improved to 9-1 on the season, despite suffering its first loss.  The weekend also continued to show the emergence of redshirt freshman goalkeeper E.B. Keeve who had 53 saves over the course of the four games while allowing just 27 goals – good for an exceptional .663 save percentage.

Shannon Haas had 10 goals on the weekend for ASU as she moved into sole possession of third on the Sun Devils’ all-time scoring list. 

ASU will be off this coming weekend before returning to action in two weeks at the UC Irvine Tournament in Irvine, Calif. 

Recaps of today’s games can be found below.

ASU 7, UC Irvine 6 (Sudden Death)

UCSD Results - UC Irvine

The path to the championship final at the 2013 UCSD Triton Invitational didn’t prove to be an easy one for the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils, who needed sudden death overtime to get by No. 6 UC Irvine and into the title game Sunday afternoon in San Diego.

ASU trailed by two goals with under two minutes left in regulation but staged an incredible comeback en route to a 7-6 victory a shot at No. 2 USC at the Triton Pool. 

Shannon Haas found the back of the net with 45 seconds left in sudden death overtime for her lone goal of the game and the winner after the team’s exchanged goals in the first two overtime periods.

After forcing overtime late on Sunday afternoon, Petra Pardi scored her second goal of the game with 43 seconds left in the first of two overtime sessions but the Anteaters’ Mitchell Mckenna struck paydirt for the third time in the game in the second session to advance things to the decisive sudden death period.

In a rematch of last year’s Triton Invite final, the Sun Devils had to dig deep to find a way to extend the game and did so on the heels of late goals from Ao Gao and Alicia Brightwell – who netted the equalizer with just 30 seconds left in the game.

Gao scored both her goals in the final frame while also notching seven steals on the game as ASU put together yet another solid defensive performance, despite their struggles on the offensive end.

Redshirt freshman E.B. Keeve was phenomenal in the cage, logging 18 saves in the game to just six goals.  The 18 saves were the third most in school history behind Caylinn Wallace’s 22 against UCSB in 2005 – also the school’s freshman record - and Jennifer Sanderson’s 19 against Hawai’i in 2004.

The victory set up a championship final with No. 2 USC, set to take place later in the evening.

USC 13, ASU 6

UCSD Results - USC

Following a sudden death semifinal matchup this morning just to advance to the final at the Triton Invitational, the No. 2 USC Trojans proved to be just too much for the Arizona State University water polo squad as they handed the Sun Devils their first lost of the decision in a 13-6 decision to wrap up the San Diego tournament.

The Sun Devils were up to task early with Shannon Haas, Petra Pardi and Ao Gao each scoring first quarter goals to make it 3-3 with two minutes remaining in the first.

The Trojans responded with two goals in the final 45 seconds, however, adding another just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter as they took a 6-3 lead that they never relinquished.

Haas finished with two goals while Abigail Kerth and Alicia Brightwell each added one as the Sun Devils suffered their first defeat of the season and fell to 9-1 on the year.  

Redshirt freshman E.B. Keeve had 10 stops from the keeper position, giving her double-digit saves in nine of the first 10 games of her career.