San Diego, California - The San Diego State women’s water polo team heads to Northern California for a pair of Golden Coast Conference games this week. First up is a Friday date at No. 18 Santa Clara (3 p.m. PT) before heading to Pacific for a Saturday game set for noon PT.
The Aztecs (19-10; 3-0 GCC) took control of their own destiny in their quest for the inaugural GCC regular-season crown after beating No. 11 Loyola Marymount last Saturday, 6-5. SDSU came into the contest with a 2-0 conference record, while the Lions were unblemished at 4-0. With the score tied at 5-5, San Diego State took possession with seven seconds left and brought the ball up the pool. Following a foul, Anique Hermann had 0.22 seconds to get off a shot and ultimately buried it into the lower right corner with no time left to propel the home side to victory.
The goal from Hermann was her third of the day and tied Ioli Benekou, the reigning GCC Player of the Week, for game-high honors. Goalkeeper Rachel Mitchell had a huge afternoon, coming up with a game-high 11 stops, including a save on a penalty shot in the opening moments of the third quarter to preserve a 2-2 tie. Mitchell also had a team-high four steals and shared the team lead with Nikole Ferrari as they both finished with two assists.
SDSU is looking to secure its 20th victory of the season on Friday, which would extend a school record for consecutive 20-win campaigns to nine. Over the last eight seasons, San Diego State has averaged 23.9 victories and is coming off a 23-win effort a year ago.
Similar to the Aztecs, the Broncos (13-10; 3-1 GCC) will come into the conference clash riding a three-game winning streak. Last week, SCU beat GCC foes Fresno Pacific on the road (8-4) and Pacific at home (15-9), before edging Cal State East Bay, 12-10. This will be the second meeting of the season between the teams as the Broncos defeated SDSU in overtime, 9-8, in the opening game of the UCSD Triton Invitational back in early February.
As for the Tigers, they will roll out the welcome mat for San Diego State on their Senior Day. UOP has lost two straight (at SCU, vs. UCSD) and comes into the tilt with a 12-15 record (2-3 GCC). Despite its current two-game losing skid, Pacific has been tough in Stockton recently, having won three in a row, including its last home league game vs. Fresno Pacific on April 4. SDSU and UOP are also meeting for a second time this year, with the Aztecs claiming a 9-7 victory on the second day of the UCI Invitational in late February.
Following the trip north, San Diego State will close the Golden Coast season on Wednesday, April 16, at Azusa Pacific. First sprint will take place at 6 p.m. PT