Senior Harlowe Steele named tournament MVP as Aztecs surge past UC Davis 15-7
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
April 28, 2019 (Davis) - The San Diego State lacrosse team captured its second straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship on Sunday with a 15-7 triumph over UC Davis in the title game at Aggie Stadium.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Katy Sharretts broke her own school record with 19 saves, including 14 in the second half alone, while seniors Harlowe Steele, Kirstie Greenlaw and freshman Caitlin Jones each netted hat tricks to help the Aztecs win their third in a row and avenge a 16-12 loss to the Aggies during the regular season on April 13.
SDSU (11-7) also received two goals apiece from senior Natalie Peel and sophomore Bailey Brown, while senior Jill Haight registered a game-high five draw controls.
In addition to her offensive output, Steele led all players with three caused turnovers and tied for game-high honors with four ground balls to go with four draw controls of her own.
The Aztecs won for just the second time this year (2-7) when getting outshot after facing a 36-29 deficit in that category, including a 26-22 spread on net. However, SDSU maintained a slight 23-22 edge in ground balls and converted 88.0 percent of its clearing attempts (22-25), compared to UCD’s 73.7 percent clip (14-19). Sunday’s contest also marked the first time this season the Scarlet and Black tied its opponent in draw controls after the two sides won 12 apiece.
With the score knotted at 3-3 following a goal by the Aggies’ Sorana Larson at the 14:47 mark of the first half, the Aztecs reeled off consecutive markers by four different players to take the lead for good. Before intermission, Greenlaw, Steele and redshirt sophomore Lexi Tan each found the back of the net, while Brown tickled the twine with just over two minutes elapsed in the second period to give the visitors a 7-3 cushion.
UC Davis (9-8) cut the deficit in half with a 3-1 spurt, bookended by Mar Alvear’s two goals, while Larson hit pay dirt after Peel’s free position conversion, narrowing the gap to 8-6 by 16:57 mark.
However, the Aggies were unable to draw closer, as the Aztecs turned on the afterburners with a 7-1 blitz over the 15:22 to put the championship on ice. Jones and Greenlaw fueled the run with two goals apiece, while Brown, Haight and Steele added single tallies.
In addition to Alvear, Amanda Outcalt scored two goals for UCD; however, MPSF Player of the Year Taylor Cuenin, who recorded 47 goals during the regular season, was limited to just one in a losing effort on Sunday.
- San Diego State claims its second consecutive MPSF lacrosse title.
- The Aztecs tied a program record with 11 victories for the second year in a row.
- SDSU evens the all-time series vs. UC Davis at 5-5, avenging a 16-12 defeat in the regular season.
- Harlowe Steele was named most valuable player of the MPSF Tournament after notching eight goals, six draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers on the weekend.
- Thanks in part to her hat trick on Sunday, Steele finished the year with a conference-leading 52 goals, becoming the first 50-plus goal scorer in SDSU lacrosse history.
- In addition, Steele has scored at least three goals in 20 different games during her career, including 11 this season. The Aztec tri-captain has also notched at least one tally in 26 of her last 27 starts dating back to last year, with the lone exception in that stretch occurring in the 2018 regular-season finale at Notre Dame.
- Not to be outdone, Steele finishes her career as SDSU’s all-time leader in games played (68) while ranking second in both goals (99) and draw controls (149), third in shots (187) and fourth in ground balls (96).
- With her 19 saves, Sharretts extended her single-season school record to 192 this year. She also finished the campaign with an MPSF-leading 45 ground balls, which ranks second in program history, after collecting three on Sunday.
- SDSU won all 11 games this year in which it held a lead at any point during the contest. The Aztecs also moved to 7-2 this year in games following a victory.