SAN DIEGO The sixth-ranked San Diego State
women¹s water polo team opened the 2008 campaign with an 11-8 triumph
over No. 10 Hartwick College on Thursday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex.
With the win, SDSU notched its seventh consecutive season-opening victory,
while Hartwick fell to 0-4.
Junior All-American Jenna Schuster led the Aztec attack
with three goals, while classmates Anna Gonzales and Erinn Greenwood added
two scores apiece. Senior Heather Fenske was a dominant force in the net
for SDSU, recording a career-high 14 saves.
Hartwick was led by sophomore Kirsten Hudson, who scored
six of the Hawks¹ eight goals.
San Diego State struck first as sophomore Danielle Pelke
found the back of the net before senior Becca Ur scored to give the Aztecs
a quick 2-0 lead. Greenwood tacked on one more goal before Hartwick was able
to get on the board when Hudson converted a penalty shot at the 2:15 mark.
Each team added another tally before the end of the first quarter, giving
SDSU the 4-2 advantage.
In a low-scoring second period, Gonzales and junior
Jessica Pace posted back-to-back goals, but Hudson responded with a score
of her own to close the gap to 6-3 at intermission.
After the break, both teams picked up their offense
as Gonzales opened the action with her second goal of the day. Schuster also
recorded two of her three tallies in the third quarter, while junior Erin
Lester tacked on one more to build a 10-4 lead for SDSU. Hudson was able
to respond at the end of the quarter, however, scoring twice in the last
minute of play to pull the Hawks back within four (10-6).
Hartwick gave the Aztecs a run for their money in the
final eight minutes of play as they cut SDSU¹s lead in half by netting
two goals and holding the Scarlet and Black scoreless until the 1:21 mark,
when Greenwood notched a tally to secure the 11-8 victory.
The Aztecs will return to action this weekend when they
travel across town to compete in the Triton Invitational, Feb. 9-10, in La
Jolla, Calif. SDSU will open tournament play with a 9 a.m. game against Maryland
at the Canyonview East Pool on the UC San Diego campus. Depending on how
SDSU fares in its morning game, the Aztecs will play again at either 2 p.m.
or 3:30 p.m.