SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 13th-ranked UC San Diego women's water polo team dropped a close 6-4 decision to crosstown rival No. 8 San Diego State Saturday afternoon in the 12th annual Harper Cup.
The Tritons completed their regular-season schedule with a 22-13 overall record, while the Aztecs finish up at 22-9 on the year.
This year's Harper Cup proved to be a match of endurance as the Aztecs' second-half speed proved to be too much for the Tritons. Three of SDSU’s six goals came in the third quarter alone as the home side gained control.
The crosstown clash started as a very evenly-matched game, as SDSU’s Anique Hermann scored the opening goal at the 5:37 mark.
Jolene Guiliana tied the game up at one with an inside shot on the strong side. SDSU broke the tie with 2:25 remaining, taking a 2-1 lead into the second quarter.
Both squads looked to make up ground in the third quarter as defense kept the second quarter completely scoreless.
The Aztecs and Tritons exchanged goals through the third. Alexis Wieseler scored UCSD’s first goal of the second half, beating the goalie to the right side of the net. Sarah Lizotte then kept the Tritons within one at 4-3 with a goal from inside. SDSU’s Bailey Wickliffe would give the Aztecs the two-goal lead heading into the fourth, beating Courtney Miller to the right post.
Wieseler brought UCSD back within one with plenty of time remaining, netting a side-arm shot on a man-up situation. Just a minute later, however, at the 4:23 mark, Wickliffe gave SDSU the separation needed to take the game, as UCSD would be unable to connect on a few key possessions.
UCSD heads to the Western Water Polo Association Championship Tournament hosted by Santa Clara, Apr. 26-28. The top-seeded Tritons will play the eighth seed, Cal State San Bernardino, in Friday's tournament opener at 9:30 a.m. at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.
UCSD 1 - 0 - 2 - 1 = 4
SDSU 2 - 0 - 3 - 1 = 6
UCSD saves: Courtney Miller 8.
SDSU saves: Rachel Mitchell 10.