Courtesy: UC San Diego Athletics
LA JOLLA, Calif. – The No. 10 UC San Diego women’s water polo team defended the Harper Cup and took down crosstown rival No. 15 San Diego State 10-7 at Canyonview Aquatic Center. The Tritons have won the Harper Cup five times in a row.
Bennett Bugelli was named the Harper Cup MVP. The senior goalkeeper was named the MVP in 2019 as well.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Aztecs had an early 2-1 advantage with 3:59 left in the first quarter. San Diego State’s lead did not last for long as a goal from Sydney Boland sparked a 5-0 run for the Tritons to take a 6-2 lead with 4:30 left in the second quarter.
San Diego State came within two of the Tritons after they won the third quarter sprint and Jessica Leckich found the back of the cage to make it a 6-4 game. The Aztecs had a chance to cut the Triton’s lead to one with a penalty shot opportunity but Bugelli made an impressive save to keep the two-goal lead.
Boland had back-to-back goals in the third quarter to complete the hat and the Aztecs never came within less than three goals the rest of the game.
FROM THE COACH
“In a year like this, it’s really tough for coaches to get your team motivated. We worked hard this week to try and stay excited for this. This is something we take a lot of pride in, something we really want and I think you saw our team really step up and be excited about trying to win it again,” stated Head Coach Brad Kreutzkamp.
- Bugelli finished with 13 saves, a steal and a goal at the very end of the third quarter. She became the first goalkeeper to score in the Harper Cup.
- Boland had a game high three goals to go along with three steals.
- Ciara Franke and Grace Pevehouse each scored two goals.
- The Tritons held the Aztecs to 0-5 on power play opportunities.
The Tritons wrap up their homestand with a pair of games against UC Santa Barbara on March 26 and 27. The conference game will be March 26 at 6:00 p.m. and the nonconference match-up will be March 27 at 2:00 p.m. with both games on BigWestTv.