San Diego, California - 20th ranked San Diego State is set for a big week with a pair of trophies on the line. The Aztecs will look to capture the outright Golden Coast regular-season title on Wednesday at Azusa Pacific before trying to keep the Harper Cup on Montezuma Mesa for the 13th consecutive season on Friday at 12th ranked UC San Diego.
SDSU is in a position to claim the outright GCC regular-season crown after it posted two conference road victories this past week. The Aztecs beat No. 19 Santa Clara on Friday, 7-6, and defeated Pacific by an identical 7-6 score on Saturday. SDSU has now won three-straight one-goal games.
In the outing vs. SCU, the Aztecs received three goals from Caroline Israels, a pair from Ioli Benekou and single tallies from Nikole Ferrari and Makena Magro. San Diego State led, 4-2, at halftime, but the Broncos outscored the Aztecs, 3-2, in the third quarter to make it a game. In the final period, each team scored once and SDSU held off Santa Clara’s upset bid to escape with the victory.
At UOP, it was another tight battle, but the Aztecs kept the Tigers from getting in their way of grabbing at least a share of the league title. SDSU led, 4-2, late in the second quarter, but Pacific scored with 10 seconds left before the horn and the game was a one-goal affair the rest of the way. Benekou and Anique Hermann led the victorious Aztecs with two goals apiece, while Israels, Alyssa Diacono and Taylor Gums found the back of the net once. Rachel Mitchell had 11 stops, less than 24 hours after recording seven at SCU.
Both hard-fought wins kept San Diego State’s league record unblemished at 5-0 with one game to play. Second-place LMU completed its league slate with a 5-1 record on Saturday after downing APU on Saturday. The decision on Friday, meanwhile, extended SDSU’s school-record streak of consecutive 20-win campaigns to nine.
Wednesday’s 6 p.m. PT game at Azusa Pacific (15-18; 1-4 GCC), which will be streamed live for a fee (http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/apu.portal#), will mark the first-ever meeting between the teams. The Cougars put a stop to their three-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon after they used a 9-0 run to dismiss Chapman, 15-6. Earlier that day, APU dropped a 13-5 decision in the aforementioned tilt with Loyola Marymount.
As for the Harper Cup game on Friday against UCSD (23-10), the Aztecs will look to continue their dominance over their neighbor at 6 p.m. PT at Canyonview Pool. San Diego State heads into the annual game having won 12 straight Harper Cup get-togethers. Not once has the Harper Cup left Montezuma Mesa, but this will be the first time the Tritons will own the higher national ranking. In addition to trying to keep its 12-game Harper Cup winning streak intact, SDSU will look to keep its streak of 21 straight wins over UCSD going. The Aztecs have not lost to the Tritons since Feb. 10, 2002.
UC San Diego will play host to San Diego State carrying a six-game winning streak into the contest. Last Friday, the Tritons defeated conference foe Cal State San Bernardino, 16-6. Prior to that, UCSD edged Pacific, 13-11, in a neutral-site game in Santa Clara, California.
After the date with UC San Diego, SDSU will prepare for the Golden Coast Championship, April 24-26, which will take place in Los Angeles on the campus of LMU.