March 20, 2010
By Zak Gilbert
Athletic Media Relations
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Colorado State registered an important conference victory, 9-3 over Cal State San Bernardino, before sustaining an 11-1 setback against No. 14 San Diego State, on the second and final day of the Loyola Marymount Invitational Saturday at the Burns Center.
The impressive win over CSUSB gave the Rams (8-14, 3-3 Western Water Polo Association) a .500 record in conference play with little more than a month remaining in the regular season. It also helped them close their spring-break trip with four wins over a brutal nine-game tour. Six of those nine opponents were among the 23 teams receiving votes in this week’s Collegiate Water Polo Association Division I poll.
“I was really pleased at how we responded and controlled the game,” said coach Mike Moody, whose Rams have now won four of their last seven. “It was a conference win and we’ll take those. It’ll certainly help us out in the seeding at the conference championships next month.”
The Coyotes (13-11, 2-5 WWPA) led the Rams after one period, 2-1, before CSU’s Ali Pavlik knotted the contest 2 minutes into the second quarter. Minutes later, teammate Lorene Vidal netted the go-ahead score and Pavlik followed with another tally to give CSU a lead it would not relinquish.
Then, playing outstanding defense for the second straight game, CSU shut out San Bernardino in the second half, on the strength of six Melissa Fisher saves. Fisher, a true freshman, finished the contest having denied eight Coyotes shots. Six CSU players scored, led by Pavlik’s hat trick and Vidal’s two goals. Kailin Custy, Sarah Ostling, Maggie McShane and Caroline Young also found the net for the Rams.
In the second game, as they did against No. 9 Loyola Marymount Friday, the Rams played the 14th-ranked Aztecs tough out of the gates, trailing only 1-0 after one quarter. But SDSU, a non-conference foe and the 10th match CSU has played this season against an opponent ranked in the nation’s top 20, scored three times in the second frame and never looked back, employing a suffocating defense. Ostling recorded CSU’s only goal just before halftime.
“We played great in that first period,” Moody said, “then we got into foul trouble and had a couple turnovers in the second period and the game got away from us. We need to do a better job taking care of the ball on offense and not have those mental errors. We have a pattern of playing well early but not being able to carry that level of play throughout against the high-caliber teams. It’s an issue that we need to address and change and fix.”
CSU, believed to be the nation’s only team without a home game on its 2010 schedule, has only one tournament left before the all-important WWPA championships in Bakersfield, Calif., April 30-May 2. The Rams now have three weeks off before finishing their regular season in the Bay Area, where they meet conference foes Santa Clara and UC San Diego, and play a rematch with San Bernardino. CSU finishes that trip at the Santa Clara Tournament.
“It was a competitive training trip out here,” Moody said from the airport, awaiting his team’s flight home. “It was a tough schedule. It was grueling by the end of the week. We’re definitely in shape, physically. We just need to do a better job mentally preparing for the top-ranked teams. We got better as the week progressed.”
CSU vs. Cal State San Bernardino
CSU goals: Pavlik 3, Vidal 2, Custy, Ostling, McShane, Young.
CSU vs. San Diego State
CSU goals: Ostling.
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