Aztecs drop third straight MPSF conference game
Photo: The Aztecs recognized their 11 seniors prior to Sunday's game vs. Colorado. Courtesy goaztecs.com
April 16, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego State found itself in a tight battle midway through the first half against No. 6/5 Colorado at home Sunday, but the visiting Buffaloes used a timely 9-0 run to pull away for a 17-5 victory in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game on Senior Day at Aztec Lacrosse Field.
With the loss, SDSU (8-6, 2-4 MPSF) slipped into a tie for sixth with UC Davis in the MPSF standings with two games left in the regular season. The Aztecs will head north to face the Aggies in a key showdown on Friday, April 21. The top six teams qualify for the MPSF Tournament, April 27-30, in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Colorado (13-2, 5-1 MPSF) remains in second place, one game behind front-runner USC.
SDSU found themselves trailing 3-0 with just under nine minutes elapsed in the second half, before senior Kayla Deitz broke the Aztecs’ scoring drought with a goal from close range off a crisp pass from fellow classmate Erin Jeffery, who was stationed behind the cage. Senior Kristen Hickey got into the act with an unassisted marker shortly thereafter, while Jeffery threaded another perfect pass to sophomore Harlowe Steele, who scored on a nearly identical play at the 14:55 mark to tie the score at 3-3.
However, the Aztecs were kept off the scoreboard for the remainder of the period and the first 15-plus minutes of the second half, as the Buffaloes used a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach at 12-3.
SDSU finally responded with a pair of goals from senior Sarah Dorl and sophomore Jill Haight just 28 seconds apart in the 16th minute of the second half, with Jeffery dishing out her career-high third assist on the latter strike. The Aztecs were unable to trim the deficit any further, though, as Colorado put up five straight tallies to close out the game.
CU’s Johnna Fusco led all players with four goals on the afternoon, while Darby Kiernan and Katie Macleay each netted a hat trick of their own. In addition, the Buffaloes received two goals apiece from Carly Cox and Marie Moore, while Kiernan finished with a game-high seven draw controls.
In front of the cage, senior Katrina Reeves recorded 12 saves for SDSU and picked up three ground balls, before giving way to classmate Katie Merritt, who finished with two stops in the final 9:25. The Aztecs also received three ground balls and three caused turnovers from another senior Ijeoma Ikpe, while junior Mackenzie Lech logged two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
As a team, Colorado outshot SDSU by a 41-12 margin and maintained the upper hand in ground balls (22-18) and draw controls (13-11). The Aztecs were also 12-for-19 (.632) on clears, compared to the Buffaloes’ 17-for-23 (.739) clip.
Sunday’s contest marked the final game for SDSU’s 11 seniors, including Kayla Deitz, Sarah Dorl, Kristen Hickey, Ijeoma Ikpe, Erin Jeffery, Katie Merritt, Vickie Porter, Katrina Reeves, Katherine Smith, Casey Taggart and Alex Watson.
The Aztecs close out their regular-season slate next weekend when they travel to northern California for a pair of games at UC Davis (April 21) and Stanford (April 23).