(Photo: Jonathan Diego/WCSN)
No. 5 Arizona State hosted No. 7 California for an intense water polo showdown at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. Six of the last eight times these two teams met, the games ended with a one goal differential. Today, on senior day, that stat increased when ASU beat Cal 7-6 in quadruple overtime.
Senior Daisy Carter scored on a lob shot in the golden goal sudden death period.
“I knew I had to make it and sent up a prayer,” Carter said. “I had spoken to our assistant and she said the lob was on, so that was definitely in the front of my mind. I had a fake and chucked and said this has to go in.”
The press defense of Cal made things difficult for ASU in the beginning parts of the game as they failed to score in the first quarter. The elite center play from Cal junior Emily Laughlin gave the golden bears a 3-2 lead at half-time.
“It’s definitely mental,” Carter said. “You have to keep your ground and set a tone at the beginning.”
In the third quarter ASU came out on fire when Maud Koopman and Ao Gao scored goals from long range. Cal would fail to score in that period as ASU held a 4-3 lead.
In the last period of regulation Cal came back and made it close when Laughlin and Brooke Vowell scored. However, the Sun Devils were able to level the score when Abbey Kerth scored a goal out of center to make it a 6-6 game at the end of regulation. Head coach Todd Clapper said his team loved the pressure throughout the game.
“The team has been great,” Clapper said. “We were talking at the quarter break, and half the team is smiling. In the past sometimes you would be stressed out about those moments and they were really enjoying themselves out there. They were ready every time to go back and out and just enjoy this last home game for this team.”
Cal dominated possession the first periods of over time, but were un-able to extend the score. Cal’s best shooter Carla Carrega was held scoreless all game, and near the end of the first overtime period she missed a five-meter penalty shot.
Both teams would fail to score on each other until the last over time period, when Carter lobbed the ball in to the back of the net with one second left on the shot clock.
“We actually had about three goals that were low on the clock,” Clapper said. “She (Carter) has a great lob shot from the fake. She sold it well and floated it perfectly.”
To get this type of win on senior day is sure to be memorable for Arizona State. They now have a 15-5 record and have won eight of their last nine games.
“What a storybook ending to the home career,” Clapper said. “Seniors really did a great job. This group has been amazing. From start to finish just everyday they have been great. It is really nice to see them get the win today.”
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