Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ehinger Save Three In First Start / ASU wins 7-1

No. 6 @SunDevilWP Takes Down CSU East Bay in Triton Invitational Opener

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 6 Arizona State University water polo team opened up the UCSD Triton Invitational with a comfortable 11-5 victory over Cal State East Bay Saturday afternoon at Triton Pool.

The victory advances the Sun Devils to the winner's bracket, where they remain at Triton Pool to face the winner of the No. 10 UC Davis/No. 19 Loyola Marymount matchup at 6:20 p.m. MST later this evening.

The Sun Devils (7-1) were powered all afternoon by an extremely balanced attack, which has become an identity for the Sun Devils offense. Four different Sun Devils managed to record multi-goal performances, including the first career occurrence for Meghan Beaudet. With her two goals on the afternoon, Benekou has now has 19 goals on the season and has recorded a multi-goal game in seven of the first eight games this season.  Arizona State's defense, anchored by goalie Belen Ehinger making her first career start, held Cal State East Bay to just five goals, tied for its lowest output of the season.

Mihailovic got the Sun Devils on the board first with a goal coming just 20 seconds into the first period. Alkistis Benekou would add a goal of her own shortly after, making it 2-0 ASU with 5:56 left in the first. Cal State East Bay would finally break through with their first goal midway through the first. The Sun Devils would control the remaining action of the first period. P.J. Allin found the scoring touch, tallying back-to-back goals to help Arizona State finish the period leading 4-1.

Both teams settled in defensively in the second, with neither team cracking the scoreboard in the period until the 2:56 mark. That is when Alkistis Benekou stepped up and sent her second goal of the game past the goalkeeper to put the Sun Devils up 5-1. Celebrating her birthday in proper fashion, Meghan Beaudet would extend the ASU lead with a goal of her own to make it 6-1 Sun Devils. Arizona State would take a 6-2 lead into the halftime break.

The Sun Devils picked up where they left off after a strong first 16 minutes. Bente Rogge would get make sure the Sun Devils were the ones on the board first after the half, burying one in the back of the net to make it 7-2 ASU. A little over a minute later, Lena Mihailovic notched another multi-goal game thanks to her tally with 5:18 left in the half. Mihailovic now has a multi-goal game in four of her first five games this season.

The scoring would not stop there, as the Sun Devils offense was clicking on all cylinders. Kayla Casas would round out the scoring in the period for the Sun Devils with her goal putting Arizona State up 9-3 at the end of the third period.

Entering the fourth with a solid lead, the Sun Devils continued to be aggressive and apply pressure in the final period. Catherine Simko became the sixth different Sun Devil to record a goal when she rocketed one past the goalie to make it 10-3 Arizona State early in the fourth. Meghan Beaduet continued to build upon her best performance in her young Sun Devil career, scoring her second goal of the game for her first career multi-goal outing. With the victory, Arizona State moves to 4-0 in neutral matches.

The Sun Devils will return to action later this evening at the UCSD Triton Invitational. The Sun Devils await the winner of the No. 10 UC Davis/No. 19 Loyola Marymount matchup, which is currently taking place at Triton Pool. The winner's bracket matchup will take place tonight at 6:20 P.M. MST in Triton Pool, where the Sun Devils will compete for a spot in the tournament semifinals. Follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates and visit our website for more information.
Goals: Benekou (2), Allin (2), Mihailovic (2), Beaudet (2), Rogge, Simko, Casas

Assists: Casas (2), Huck, Benekou

Steals: Koopman (2), Casas (2), Van Buren, Reyes, Ehinger

Saves: Ehinger (3)

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