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Water polo's Brightwell named MPSF Player of the Week

March 13, 2012

For the third time this season, Arizona State University water polo senior Alicia Brightwell has been tabbed the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week, it was announced by the MPSF on Monday afternoon. 

Brightwell found the back of the net three times against #4 Cal on Saturday at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe, Ariz., helping the #5 Sun Devils upset the Golden Bears for what some might consider one of the biggest wins in school history

The victory improved ASU to 16-2 overall – by far a program best  - and 2-0 in MPSF competition on the year.

Brightwell opened the scoring in the match with a penalty shot midway through the first quarter to put Arizona State up 1-0 and set the pace as the Sun Devils jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one quarter. 

The senior out of Sydney, Australia, added her second goal less than 30 seconds into the second period to put ASU up 5-1 and added the dagger on her hat trick with just under four minutes remaining in the game to put the Sun Devils up 9-5 as they held on for the 10-7 victory. 

For Brightwell, it was the third time this season she has earned the award and it is the first time in school history that a Sun Devil has been honored three times in the same season.  

Brightwell leads the conference with 44 goals in 16 games played this year, six more than her closest competition.  Her 2.75 goals per game is also tops in the conference and she has posted 12 games this season with three or more goals. 

The MPSF also announced on Monday that Shannon Haas will be honored as the March 5 Co-Player of the week with UCLA’s Caitlin Dement. 

Haas had a career game in the team’s March 3 bout against the then-No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs, netting seven goals to tie a school record and lead the Sun Devils to a 12-3 upset.

Haas’ performance helped ASU to its first conference regular season victory since the 2008 season and in the process she accomplished a feat that had only been done twice before in ASU history. 

In addition, Haas’ second goal of the match was good for her 100th career goal as she earned her first-ever MPSF Player of the Week nod. 

Arizona State returns this action for its first conference road action of the season as the team takes on No. 1 UCLA in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 17 at 1 p.m. PST.  The Sun Devils will then take part in a double-header in Pomona, Calif., on Sunday, March 18 when they will square off with Iona at 10 a.m. PST and then Pomona-Pitzer at 1 p.m. PST.