Sun Devils edge Aztecs 12-11, nabs fifth-place in MPSF
Alicia Brightwell scored seven goals and the #5 Arizona State University water polo team held off #8 San Diego State in the fifth-place game at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.
Brightwell, who finished the 2012 regular season as the MPSF scoring champion, brought her season total to 75 goals with her performance on the weekend. That places Brightwell second on ASU's all-time list behind only Addison McGrath's 81 goals. It should be noted, however, that Brightwell did not appear in several matches for the Sun Devils this season and was well on pace to break McGrath's record before sitting out some games.
Brightwell's seven goals on the afternoon also tied an ASU school record for goals score din a single game, a feat achieved only three others times in school history by McGrath, Lynlee Smith and Shannon Haas.
Like all of ASU's games in the tournament, Sunday's affair was back-and-forth the whole way through. The teams exchanged goals through the first three quarters, leading to a 10-10 tie heading into the deciding frame.
There, the Sun Devils outscored the Aztecs 2-1 and a last-second attempt by SDSU bounced off the posts before falling harmlessly aside as time expired to give the Sun Devils the victory.
Ianeta Hutchinson was strong in the cage for a second consecutive game, logging 14 saves on the day - just one shy of her career record.
The win improved the Sun Devils to 25-6 on the year that was already ASU's most successful in school history, with school records set in wins and goals scored. In addition, the fifth-place finish was the best finish for the Sun Devils in MPSF history.
ASU will now await its fate as it hopes for a potential at-large berth to the NCAA Water Polo Championships, set to take place in San Diego, Calif., in a couple weeks.
San Diego State - 4 2 4 1 = 11
Arizona State - 4 3 3 2 = 12
San Diego State Goal Scorers - Pezzolla 4, Hermann 2, Poland 2, Burgess, A. Ford, L. Ford
Arizona State Goal Scorers - Brightwell 7, Gao 2, Carter, Salloum, White
Goalie Saves: - Campoli 8 (SDSU); Hutchinson 14 (ASU)