No. 3 San Diego State University Torches No. 10 Arizona State University, 12-8, in Final National Collegiate Club Championship Opening Round Game
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Veronica Coffer (Sr., Chula Vista, Calif.) scored four times to claim Player of the Game honors as the No. 3-ranked San Diego State University Aztecs torched the No. 10 Arizona State University Sun Devils in the final opening round game of the 2012 National Collegiate Club Championship at Florida State University's Morcom Aquatic Center.
SDSU advances into the tournament quarterfinals where the Pacific Coast Division runner-up Aztecs will clash with a familiar opponent, No. 1-nationally ranked and reigning Pacific Coast Division champion California Polytechnic State University.
The game will mark the season rubber match between the Aztecs and Mustangs as SDSU defeated Cal Poly 6-5 on January 28 at the University of California-San Diego during the regular season, but fell 8-6 in the division title game on April 15 at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Against Arizona State, San Diego needed to overcome the Southwest Division champion Sun Devils with strong defense, key offensive surges and solid clock management.
Leading 4-3 after a period of play, the Aztecs began to pull away in the second quarter as Coffer (6:03) and Jennifer Needham (Sr., San Jose, Calif.) (5:03, 44 seconds) contributed for three goals as SDSU used a 3-1 scoring advantage in the period to take a 7-4 lead into halftime.
Arizona State closed the gap to 7-6 to begin the third period as Sara McDaniel (Gr., Okemos, Mich.) and Alexis D'Asaro (So., Huntington Beach, Calif.) torqued in scores on man-advantage opportunities at the 5:49 and 3:59 marks, respectively.
However, Lindsey Morris (Sr., Fremont, Calif.) responded for the Aztecs with an even-strength line-drive at 2:33 to rebuild the lead to 8-6 through three periods of play.
Facing the potential of a Sun Devils rally to victory over the final seven minutes of competition, Coffer canned a shot 25 seconds into the period at the 6:35 mark to hand SDSU a three goal margin at 9-6.
The goal proved critical for SDSU over the next few moments as it kept ASU at arms length and prevented the Sun Devils from turning a momentum surge into a potential overtime game.
D'Asaro scored at 5:30 to slice the margin to 9-7, but back-to-back tallies by Erin Herold (Gr., Chino Hills, Calif.) and Coffer at 5:02 and 4:20, respectively, made it 11-7 and sealed the win.
Both teams tacked on strikes in the closing moments as D'Asaro (2:56) and Morris (1:15) found the back of the cage in the final three minutes to set the final scoreboard at 12-8.
A key to the game was ASU's difficulties on man-up chances as the Sun Devils converted on just four-of-12 chances with an extra player in the water, while SDSU cashed in on two-of-six chances.
Overall, Morris matched Coffer's four-goal output as the duo equaled the offensive output of Arizona State. Herold and Needham both tacked on pairs of goals to account for the Aztecs final four goals.
For ASU, D'Asaro also tallied four goals, while McDaniel and Stephanie Funston (Sr., Riverside, Calif.) notched a hat-trick and a single marker, respectively.
In between the pipes, Stefanna Spoletini (So., Calgary, Alberta) made four saves in taking the loss, while Pilar Odom (Jr., San Francisco, Calif.) stopped four shots in claiming the victory for SDSU.
Arizona State will next be in action att 9:50 p.m. tonight in the final game on Day One of the tournament as the Sun Devils will take on the Seminoles of Florida State University in the consolation round.
|No. 3 San Diego State University
|No. 10 Arizona State University
ASU Goals: Alexis
D'Asaro (4); Sara McDaniel (3); Stephanie Funston
SDSU Goals: Veronica Coffer (4); Lindsey Morris (4); Erin Herold (2); Jennifer Needham (2)
Saves: ASU - Stefanna Spoletini (4) ; SDSU - Pilar Odom (4)
Exclusions: ASU - 6 ; SDSU - 12
Advantage Opportunities: ASU - 4-for-12 ; SDSU - 2-for-6
Sprints: ASU - 4-for-4 ; SDSU - 0-for-4
Perez, JR Vanderwall
San Diego State University's Jennifer Needham dishes a "no-look" pass versus Arizona State University