Men's Water Polo, Sports

49ers drop close battle with No. 6 ASU

Krizia Cerda recorded a hat-trick, but it was not enough as Long Beach State (4-11) fell to No. 6 Arizona State, 8-5, on Sunday at the 49er Campus Pool.

Cerda, along with junior Lauren Sieprath and freshman Courtney Elward, provided the offense for LBSU. All scores were made from beyond the 5 meter line as ASU (12-5) made it tough for LBSU to score inside.

“Our goal for today was to see if we can compete,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. “As long as we compete with these top teams, we’re progressing.”

The ‘Niners kept up with the No. 6 team in the nation through the first three periods, but the Sun Devils’ defense and power play opportunities proved too much for the ladies of Long Beach. Six different ASU players scored with freshman Morgan Leech and junior Nikki Unbehaun tallying two apiece.

Both teams played aggressive defense as no team made more than two goals until ASU did in the last period of play, scoring four of the game’s last five goals.

LBSU goalie Kristen Stragier had a game-high nine saves, including four in the third period. The Sun Devils used two goalies, Diana Harvey and Amanda Young, to make seven saves in total, with Harvey stopping five shots.

The first half was a surprise for the Sun Devils as the ‘Niners kept the score close at 3-2 going into halftime.

The second half proved to be frustrating for the 49ers’ defense as fouls in the third period resulted in two power play goals by ASU. Sieprath, who leads LBSU in goals scored (22) along with Cerda, scored in the third period to stop ASU’s quick run.

Fouls in the final period resulted in another pair of power play goals by ASU. The game was out of reach when ASU senior Kelly Phelps made a penalty shot to put ASU ahead, 8-4. Cerda, who scored LBSU’s first goal, netted LBSU’s last goal with a minute left in the game.

“We had the looks we wanted,” Arroyo said. “Our execution was off, but we played aggressive and we got opportunities.”

After a two-week layoff, LBSU capped off the weekend going 1-1, including a victory over Colorado State on Saturday.

“We came ready to compete and we were mentally fresh,” Arroyo said about the weekend’s games. “There’s seven weeks left. We’re now going after it, that’s where we want to be.”

The 49ers’ next pair of matches comes on Friday with showdowns against Maryland (11 a.m.) and Concordia (3:30 p.m.).

 

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