Pacific Women's Water Polo Falls To Third-Ranked Arizona State
Sophomore Taylor Adair netted a hat trick but it was not enough as the No. 19 Pacific women's water polo team fell to third-ranked Arizona State, 11-6, in a non-conference match Sunday at the Chris Kjeldsen Aquatics Complex.
The loss snapped Pacific's seven-game winning streak, dropping the Tigers' record to 14-7 on the year. The Sun Devils improved to 16-4 with the win.
"I thought we competed hard today," head coach James Graham said. "Arizona State is ranked third for a reason, and to hang with them for much of the game was great. We didn't back down from the challenge, and we'll need to keep this fight going forward into Big West play."
Adair led Pacific with three goals while sophomore Brydie Pye added a pair of scores. Junior goalkeeper Michele Relton blocked 10 shots in four quarters of work.
Arizona State jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before Adair scored her first goal of the game at the 3:11 mark of the first quarter. The Sun Devils would score again with 1:35 on the clock, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead after the opening eight minutes.
ASU extended its advantage to three, 4-1, on its first possession of the second quarter, but Pye kept the Tigers within striking distance on a goal at the 5:00 mark. Junior Elise Martin was whistled for a penalty with 2:54 left in the frame, but Relton came up with a huge stop as the Sun Devils led 4-2 at the break.
Each time Arizona State seemed poised to pull away, Pacific found a way to respond. After another ASU goal, Pye scored her second of the game at the 5:29 mark of the third to bring the Tigers back to with two. The Sun Devils converted their next possession, but freshman Gracie Smith put away a beautiful back-hand shot from center that saw the visitors' lead again reduced to two, 6-4. The Sun Devils ripped off two quick scores to take its largest lead of the game, 8-4, with 1:49 left in the third, but Adair's second score saw the Tigers trail by three heading into the final period.
Pacific held strong for the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but ASU finally broke through at the 5:34 mark to regain a four-goal advantage. The score would start a 3-0 run that ended any hope for a comeback from the Tigers. Adair's third goal came with three minutes left, but the Sun Devils' five-goal lead proved too much to overcome.
Alicia Brightwell led all scorers with four goals while Anna Kertes, Shannon Haas and Petra Pardi tallied two scores apiece for Arizona State. Goalkeeper E.B. Keeve finished the game with seven blocks.
Pacific is back in action this Tuesday, March 19, when it welcomes Harvard to Kjeldsen Pool for a showdown under the lights. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m.
No. 3 Arizona State 11, No. 19 Pacific 6
Arizona State 3 - 1 - 4 - 3 -- 11
Pacific 1 - 1 - 3 - 1 -- 6
Pacific - Adair 3, Pye 2, Smith
Arizona State - Brighwell 4, Haas 2, Kertes 2, Pardi 2, Gao
Pacific - Relton 10
Arizona State - Keeve 7