March 22, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The ninth-ranked Long Beach State women's water polo team couldn't convert down the stretch against No. 6 San Diego State and dropped a 6-5 decision Friday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex. Kayla Robert and Christina Kotsia led the 49ers (17-4, 0-2 Big West) with a pair of goals each while Justine Morgan chipped in with one.
Kotsia sparked the 49er offense with a steal on San Diego State's first possession as LBSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Morgan put The Beach on the board first with a cross-cage lob shot as Kotsia followed up with a rocket past the Aztec's Rachel Mitchell for a penalty goal.
Kelly Ringel had a strong first period for the 49ers as the junior denied all seven of San Diego State's shots.
Emily Whalen finally ended a scoreless drought that lasted 11:55 for SDSU (16-7, 3-1 Big West) with a skip shot at the 4:05 mark. The defense for both teams tightened up in second-half of the period as Long Beach State took a 2-1 lead into the break.
The San Diego State offense woke up in the second half scoring three unanswered goals capped off by Amber Pezzolla's shot with 17 remaining in the third period to take the 4-2 lead.
The 49ers had a chance to get within one on the counter-attack but Kotsia's rocket at the cage was smothered by Mitchell. The freshman however converted on the 49ers' ensuing possession before Robert fired one past the Aztec defense to tie the game at four apiece.
The LBSU offense was held without a goal for 22:54 seconds before Kotsia put the 49ers on the board at 4:06 in the fourth.
Taelor Moreno responded with back-to-back goals for SDSU to finish with four on the day as San Diego State took a 6-4 lead with 1:55 remaining. Robert put the 49ers within striking distance immediately after Moreno's penalty goal at 1:40 to make it 6-5.
Long Beach State called a timeout with 34 seconds remaining on its last possession but wasn't able to convert. The Aztecs played out the clock for the 6-5 victory over the 49ers.
Ringel finished with 11 saves on the day.
The 49ers return to action Saturday for a pair of non-conference matches against Brown at 10 a.m. followed by a 1 p.m. match versus Redlands to wrap up the weekend at the Aztec Aquaplex.
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