Spartans Outlast Aggies In Tourney Opener

Senior Hannah Curran fired two goals in the fourth against No. 13 San Jose State. <br>(Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</I>)
 
Senior Hannah Curran fired two goals in the fourth against No. 13 San Jose State.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Feb. 14, 2014

DAVIS, Calif. - The trio of Allyson Hansen, Elsie Fullerton and Hannah Curran each scored two goals but No. 14 UC Davis managed to convert just one of nine power-play opportunities in a 12-10 loss to No. 12 San Jose State to kick off the 34th Aggie Shootout collegiate women's water polo tournament Friday evening.

The Aggies slip to 5-6 for the year. The Spartans improve to 9-5.

Fullerton scored a goal in each of the first two quarters, Hansen put up two in the second, while Curran netted her two in the fourth. Junior Jillian Wilding tallied six saves for UC Davis, including one against a SJSU 6-on-5 attempt.

For the visitors, freshman Clara Espar Llaquet posted a game-high four goals while centers Victoria Smith and Rae Lekness each had a hat trick. The Spartans scored exactly half of their goals on exclusions, converting 6 of 8 chances. Senior goalie Maddie Reardon recorded nine saves.

UC Davis only held one lead in the contest, a 6-5 edge after Hansen drew an exclusion in transition then converted her own power play with 2:11 left in the second. The two teams to seven ties, never allowing more than a one-goal margin until midway through the third, when Espar Llaquet's fourth goal pushed SJSU to a 9-7 lead. Aggie junior Keelia Houston halved the deficit to just 9-8 when she scored from five meters out with a minute left in the third, but Smith collected an outlet from Timi Molnar to finish a counterattack with 0:22 left in that frame, boosting the Spartans back to a two-goal advantage.

Curran's second goal of the fourth quarter brought the Aggies back to within one at the halfway point in the fourth. UC Davis had two chances to tie during the next two minutes, but SJSU successfully defended against an Aggie player-up situation, then Reardon stopped a counterattack with an aggressive steal at two meters.

 

 

The Spartans sealed the victory with 34 seconds left in regulation. UC Davis held off a power-play opportunity but not long after the exclusion ended, Espar Llaquet assisted Smith at two meters to bring the tally to its final of 12-10.

The Aggie Shootout resumes on Saturday morning with a neutral-site contest between Santa Clara and San Jose State at 10:30 a.m. UC Davis plays its next game at 11:45 a.m. against Sonoma State. All results are available at http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-wpolo/spec-rel/14-shootout.html.

#12 San Jose State 3 4 3 2 - 12
#14 UC Davis 3 3 2 2 - 10

GOALS - SJSU: Clara Espar Llaquet 4, Victoria Smith 3, Rae Lekness 3, Alisa Argend 1, Timi Molnar 1. UC Davis: Allyson Hansen 2, Elsie Fullerton 2, Hannah Curran 2, Ariel Arcidiacono 1, Carla Tocchini 1, Keelia Houston 1, Erin Schlueter 1.

SAVES - SJSU: Maddie Reardon 9 (32:00). UC Davis: Jillian Wilding 6 (32:00).