Water polo's Brightwell tabbed MPSF Player of the Week
Arizona State Water Polo senior Alicia Brightwell was named the Kap 7 MPSF Player of the Week, as announced by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, Jan. 30.
The senior transfer from the University of Sydney in Australia put together one of the more impressive career openers in Sun Devil history, scoring 16 goals in the team's five games this weekend as the squad opened the 2012 campaign at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invite in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Brightwell scored four goals in her first-ever Division I contest against #17 UCSB on Friday, helping the team to a 12-7 victory. That was just the start for the Australian, as she would go on to lead the team in goals in victories against #7 UC-Irvine (3) and against CSU Bakersfield (4).
Brightwell averaged 3.20 goals per game on the weekend and her 16 goals already put her a third of the way to cracking ASU's all-time top-10 single season list for goals scored after just one weekend of competition.
The senior came to the Sun Devils at the beginning of the semester after spending the past several seasons competing for the University of Sydney and the Australian Senior National Team. Brightwell has competed for the Australian squad in 16 international competitions and helped the team to a runner-up finish at the 2010 World League Finals in San Diego and a fifth-place finish at the 2011 World University Games, earning MVP honors for the Australian team in the process.
It was the first time a Sun Devil had been named the MPSF Player of the Week since 2009 when Lynlee Smith was named Co-Player of the Week on March 30 and the first time a sole Sun Devil was Player of the Week since former goalkeeper Caylinn Wallace earned the honor on April 1, 2008.
The #6 Sun Devil squad posted an unblemished 5-0 record on the weekend for its best start since the 2009 season. The ASU squad was strong on the defensive end of the pool, leading to numerous scoring opportunities that saw the Sun Devils capitalize to the tune of 13.8 goals per game over the course of the weekend. ASU outscored its competition 69-29 on the weekend.
The Sun Devils will return to action this weekend at the Cal Baptist Tournament in Riverside, Calif., where the squad will square off with CS Northridge, CSU Bakersfield and San Bernadino on Saturday, Feb. 4, beginning at 9:15 a.m. PT.