The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Goalkeeper could not save the Matadors

The #20 CSUN women’s water polo team lost a close one at Matador pool on Sunday, falling 8-6 to #11 Arizona State University despite key saves from freshman goalkeeper Jillian Stapf, who denied two penalty shots and a one-on-one breakaway.

“She had some huge saves. The one-on-one she had and both five meters,” head coach Molly Barnes said. “In the end, she kept us in the game.”

Stapf made 14 saves in the game and is third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) in goals saved, averaging 9.24 per game. This season Stapf has saved 194 goals.

“I come into Northridge in a lot of these games thinking I’ve got nothing to lose, being that I’m only a freshman and I’ve got a ton to learn,” Stapf said.

Saving the penalty shots involved some luck, she said.

“It’s a lot of luck involved in which way you go. You guess one way and hope they’re going to shoot that way and if you get it, you get it,” Stapf said.

In addition to the 14 saves made by Stapf, junior Christine Cruz also made a save in the third quarter, covering for an ejected Stapf. On offense, Cruz, junior Allison Brookes and junior Dayna Van Gorder each scored two goals in the game.

For the Sun Devils, freshman Kelly Phelps and senior Katie Hedley each scored two goals, while sophomore Addison Doud, junior Kim Buck, freshman Amanda Steep and senior Lindsay Williams each scored one. Junior goalkeeper Caylinn Wallace made 14 saves, including a penalty shot.

The Matadors were unable to convert their man-up opportunities into goals, said Barnes. A couple of uncontested goals in the first half also contributed to the loss, she said.

“We didn’t really make them earn their early goals,” Barnes said.

Arizona State’s head coach Todd Clapper said he thought his team played good defense, especially in five-on-six situations. Clapper also gave credit to Stapf for her performance.

“I thought our five-on-six defense was pretty good. They had a lot of power plays, a lot of 6-on-5 opportunities. So, we did a nice job of knowing where we were supposed to be and shutting them down,” Clapper said. “I felt like Jill Stapf of Northridge had a really great game in the goal and really shut us down on occasions when we had some good looks at the goal.”

Arizona State took the lead early in the first quarter with goals by Phelps and Buck. CSUN scored the next two goals on shots by Van Gorder and Brookes to tie the game 2-2. ASU continued the scoring two more goals to lead 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter ASU was awarded a penalty shot, but Stapf knocked it out of the goal. The Sun Devils’ Phelps put one in the net to put the score at 5-2. CSUN answered with goals by Cruz and Van Gorder to come within one at 5-4. With only two seconds left in the half, ASU’s Stepp launched a long shot, finding the back of the net and putting the Sun Devils up 6-4.

CSUN got close again early in the third quarter with a goal by Brookes that put the score at 6-5. ASU’s Katie Hedley put a shot right past the side of Stapf’s head to put the score at 7-5. It looked like ASU had a good chance to score another goal when a turnover by CSUN gave Doud a breakaway. But, Stapf denied Doud and the score remained 7-5.

“We turned the ball over and I saw a big one-on-one,” Stapf said. “I just told myself try as hard as you can and get up and try to block the ball and somehow it hit my hand.”

The Sun Devils came back and scored with 25 seconds left in the third period after a shot was blocked by Stapf, and then put back by ASU to put the score at 8-5.

In the fourth quarter Arizona State’s Phelps was awarded a penalty shot, but Stapf knocked the shot out of the goal. CSUN sophomore Jessica Coy also took a penalty shot, but it was saved by ASU goalkeeper Wallace. Christine Cruz scored the game’s last goal to put the final score at 8-6.

“All in all, I’m fairly happy with the way we played,” Barnes said. “We’re getting better every game. When the pieces of the puzzle all come together, it’s going to be exciting.”

The Matadors head to UC Davis for a two-day tournament on March 31 and April 1. CSUN will face Sonoma State, Colorado State, CSU Bakersfield and UC Davis in the two-day tournament.

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