MPSF Water Polo Results, Mar. 4

Cal's Kitty Lynn Joustra (Photo by Catharyn Hayne)
Cal's Kitty Lynn Joustra (Photo by Catharyn Hayne)
March 4, 2018

No. 4 California 8, at No. 1 Stanford 7 (SV-OT)

Recap by Cal

STANFORD - Cal goalie Madison Tagg spent Sunday evening doing her job.

As a result, freshman Kitty Lynn Joustra was able to do hers.

Tagg made a career-high 16 saves and Joustra scored a couple of potentially season-defining goals as the No. 4 Cal women's water polo team upended No. 1 Stanford 8-7 in triple overtime in the Big Splash at the Avery Aquatic Center.

Tagg's heroics in the cage were especially crucial early on, when the Bears' offense struggled to create scoring opportunities. Joustra eventually tied the game at 5-5 with 30 seconds left in regulation and then netted the game-winner with 51 seconds remaining in the first sudden death overtime.

"I'm a center. That's my job - offense," said Joustra, who finished with a team-high four goals. "But it doesn't matter who scores the goals. It's a team effort."

Tagg was spectacular from the outset, making six saves in the first period when the Cardinal took a 2-0 lead. Slowly but surely, Cal (13-3, 1-0 MPSF) began to get better looks at Stanford's cage, and back-to-back goals by seniors Anna Illes and Carla Carrega knotted the game at 2-2 midway through the second quarter.

It was 3-3 at halftime and 5-4 Stanford at the end of the third quarter, but the Bears held the Cardinal scoreless for the final 12:36 of regulation, allowing Joustra to score the equalizer and force overtime.

Stanford led 7-6 after the first overtime but Illes' lob goal with 1:08 to go in the second overtime resulted in the sudden death session.

"My confidence in this team is endless, and it started on day one when I stepped on campus and saw their faces and how excited they were about the possibilities of building a new legacy," said Cal second-year coach Coralie Simmons. "With that comes a lot of growth. I think we are finally putting some pieces together."

Tagg is proving to be one of the big pieces. Her save total Sunday is the second-most by an MPSF goalie this season, and many of them came on high-percentage shots by the Cardinal.

"I've been waiting for her to come out of her shell," Simmons said. "I think she's been a little hesitant to really take ownership of the cage and ownership of the team in a way. I think her presence in the cage is really strong. The team is going to have to lean on her at times, and it was nice that at times when we had to lean on her tonight, she was there for us."

The win was Simmons' first over a team ranked in the top-4 in her 1½ years on the job. Cal fell 6-5 to No. 3 USC and 7-5 to No. 4 UCLA last weekend at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational in Irvine. The Bears play UCLA again Saturday in MPSF play.

"The whole team brought a lot of energy from the moment we got on the bus," Tagg said. "The energy was so high when we got here. There was no way we weren't going to play at the highest level we could."

San Jose State 7, Wagner 6

Princeton 8, San Jose State 6 (OT)

Recap by SJSU

Cambridge, Mass.----- Guara Garcia Delgado scored both San Jose State University goals in the second half as the #18-ranked Spartans held on for a 7-6 win over #15-Wagner University in a Harvard Invitational women's water polo match.

San Jose State (5-11) finished the two-day, four-match tournament with a 2-2 mark. The Spartans began the day losing, 7-6, to #22-Princeton.

"Our effort was really good and the energy I saw really made a difference," said San Jose State head coach Gabor Sarusi who freely utilized his bench throughout the tournament that included contests against three top-25 teams. The Spartans topped Brown, 10-8, and lost to host Harvard, 7-6, on the first day of the invitational at Murr Center Blodgett Pool.

"We changed the rotation in our lineup today. For the last game, everybody got to play."

Kathryn Elgin joined Garcia Delgado as a two-goal scorer in the Wagner victory. Jordan Milich-Misikini, Lili Urvari and Tyanna Supreme also scored for the Spartans against Wagner.

In each of its final day matches, San Jose State had a three-goal lead at the start of the second half in the Princeton and Wagner matches. The Spartans also went scoreless in the fourth quarter of each match.

Against Wagner, the Spartans persevered with a defense that now has kept opponents under 10 goals per match in each of the last seven contests and preserved a 5-2 halftime lead. San Jose State also defended the power play well on the final day yielding just four scores on 24 opponent 6-on-5 opportunities.

"We covered a lot on the 6-on-5's. We stopped them on the perimeter and that gave us an advantage. We stopped the key players on the other teams and that helped us a lot," said Garcia Delgado who thought the team's defense against Wagner was the best overall effort of the season.

Spartan goalkeeper Katelynn Thompson made eight saves against Wagner including a pair of point-blank stops in the second half.

In the Princeton match, the Tigers were 2-of-11 on power plays, but the two that resulted in a score and a penalty shot conversion by Princeton's Haley Wan pulled the teams even at 5-5 with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Princeton scored the first two goals in the two three-minute overtime periods. Urvari, the only San Jose State player to score in all four matches, closed the deficit to 7-6 with a score at 1:39 of the second overtime, but Wan of the Tigers responded with her third goal of the match on Princeton's next possession for the 8-6 final.

Klaudia Paradi led San Jose State in scoring against Princeton with two. Garcia Delgado, Jennifer Liu and Tyanna Supreme joined Paradi and Urvari in the scoring column. Tayler Peters was credited with 10 saves in goal for the second time in two days for San Jose State.

San Jose State has a week off and resumes play in Los Angeles, March 16-18. The Spartans will see Princeton again in the LMU Invitational at the Burns Aquatic Center on March 16. San Jose State also plays host LMU, Cal Baptist and Marist before opening Mountain Pacific Sports Federation against UCLA on Sunday, March 18, at the Spieker Aquatic Complex in a 1:00 p.m. match that will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.