By Marissa Scott (@marissascotttt):
San Jose State’s women’s water polo had a disheartening weekend at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto dropping all four games it played.
The Collegiate Water Polo Association’s (CWPA) No. 17 Spartans (2-7) kicked the tournament off losing 18-3 to No. 2 UC Berkeley (8-0).
According to the CWPA’s weekly coaches poll, SJSU is the only team so far to face the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the nation.
“We are improving and it’s good to see the improvement from game to game. We are creating a lot of excellent opportunities (on offense),” head coach Gabor Sarusi told SJSU Athletics.
The Spartans fought hard through the first quarter after Klaudia Paradi, the senior from Hungary, mastered a 5-yard penalty shot to keep within three goals.
The Golden Bears followed the penalty shot with nine consecutive goals throughout the first three quarters until junior Sheila Jensen scored late in the third.
A fellow Hungarian on the opposite side, senior Dora Antal, was the leading scorer for Cal with three goals while its goalies combined for 10 saved goals.
To end the day, SJSU set off to face No. 11 UC Davis (3-3) and scored its weekend-high eight goals in its 12-8 loss to the Aggies.
The Spartans grasped the momentum and outscored the Aggies 4-3 in the first quarter.
Junior Guara Garcia Delgado was the leading scorer for SJSU with three goals and freshman Lili Urvari led close behind with two.
Although the Spartans led by one goal twice throughout the first two quarters, the Aggies carried a five-goal frenzy all the way to a victory.
SJSU tried to shake off the losses but ultimately lost to No. 9 Michigan Wolverines (7-5) Sunday morning 14-3.
Senior Taylor Peters was credited with 10 saves at goals and fellow senior Jordan Milich-Misikini led SJSU with two goals against the Wolverines.
Nine girls combined for the 14 goals that Michigan scored, two of which scored three goals each to finish off SJSU.
The Spartans headed to the final game of the invitational looking for a win against the Chinese national team whom they lost 15-4 to earlier in the season.
Jensen scored the team’s only goal in the 11-1 loss against the Chinese national team.
“Everybody got a lot of playing time. Our young players had a chance to shine and show what they can do against good teams,” Sarusi said. “The next step for our younger players is finishing those opportunities.”
After a tough weekend, the Spartans hope to bounce back from the losses at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational at UC Irvine on February 23-25.