No. 21 Water Polo Sweeps Weekend with 14-8 Win

SAN DIEGO – The No. 21-ranked San Diego State water polo team took control of its Golden Coast Conference (GCC) game against the Santa Clara Broncos midway through the first period and powered to a 14-8 win on Saturday at Aztec Aquaplex to sweep a pair of weekend conference home games.

SDSU’s offense was paced by Claudia Valdes and her team-leading 13th hat trick. Sydney Gish and Rose Kanemy banged the back of the net twice each while the team got individual goals from Hannah Bell, Sammi Byers, Kendall Houck, Magena Macedo, Holliss Munchoff, Shannon Murphy and Mimi Stoupas.

In goal, Tiaare Ahofelo (8-11) played the first 16 minutes allowing six goals, making three saves with an assist and two steals to earn the victory. Mandy Lagerlof was in the cage in the second half and made three saves against a pair of goals to go along with a steal and an assist.

The Aztecs (14-13, 3-3 GCC) and Santa Clara (SCU) traded the first six goals, getting the game to 3-3 with 4:11 to go in the first quarter. SCU wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring just 16 seconds in, but Houck answered at the 6:51 mark to tie the game 1-1. The Broncos (6-19, 1-5 GCC) struck again to go back in front, but just 11 seconds later, with 6:05 on the clock, Valdes scored her first goal of the contest to get the game back even, 2-2. Seventeen seconds after the Valdes goal, Santa Clara went back in front, in what would be its last lead of the game, 3-2.

Murphy tied the game 3-3 with a goal at the 4:11 mark which was followed by goals from Kanemy and Gish with 2:56 and 2:08 left in the quarter, respectively, to push the SDSU lead to 5-3. With the score 5-4 in the favor of the home team, and 1:25 on the clock, Bullock scored the final goal of the opening stanza, and the teams went to the second period with SDSU up 6-4.

Kanemy’s second tally of the game came in the opening minute of the second quarter, at the 7:20 mark, which extended San Diego State’s advantage to 7-4. Santa Clara made it a one-goal game, 7-6, after scores with 4:45 and 4:12 on the scoreboard. However, the Scarlet and Black got both goals back by the intermission. With her second goal of the game, Valdes made it 8-6 with 3:27 to play and Gish picked up her second tally, with 59 second remaining, to send the game to the break with SDSU up 9-6.

Scoring a single goal each in the third quarter, the team struggled in the offensive zone coming out of the break.  Santa Clara’s goal came at the 5:55 mark which made it 9-7. Stoupas responded 55 seconds later to put San Diego State up three goals, 10-7, heading into the final eight minutes.

The hat trick for Valdes came with 6:54 to play and moved the Aztecs ahead by four goals. Munchoff made it 12-7 at the 5:04 mark. With 4:28 remaining, the Broncos got it back to a four-goal deficit, 12-8, with their final goal of the game. The Scarlet and Black, however, was not done. Macedo scored with 2:55 to go and Byers banged the back of the cage with 29 seconds left for the final score of 14-8.

Santa Clara was led by Elle Fredrickson’s three goals, while goalie Liyara Senadheera was in the cage for 32 minutes and surrendered all 14 Aztecs’ scores.


Valdes’ 64 goals are the most in a season since Caroline Israels finished the 2017 season with 67.


Valdes is seven goals from entering the program’s top 10 in single-season goal scoring.

Saint Clare: 4-2-1-1 – 8
San Diego State: 6-3-1-4 – 14

Santa Clara Goals: Fredrickson (3), Rodman (2), Chambliss (1), Clough (1), Morrison (1)
San Diego State Goals: Valdes (3), Gish (2), Kanemy (2), Bell (1), Byers (1), Houck (1), Macedo (1), Munchoff (1), Murphy (1), Stoupas (1)

Santa Clara Saves: Senadheera (1)
San Diego State Saves: Ahovelo (3), Lagerlof (3)

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